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MRM Buys Publishing Companies

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McCann-Erickson WorldGroup's MRM Partners Worldwide has acquired publishing companies TPD of London and its U.S. sister company, Fluent Communications of Seattle. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies will operate as independently branded units of The Publishing Agency International (TPAI), the custom publishing and branded-content unit jointly owned by the Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson WorldGroup and Campbell-Ewald subsidiaries. The acquisitions continue the worldwide expansion envisioned by TPAI when it was formed in 1999.

"We believe the next step [in our business] is to provide clients with the ability to integrate messaging not only across all media but across the whole enterprise," said Simon Kelly, president of Fluent Communications. "This way, we can align a client's employees, sales force and supporting vendors in a single mission. I believe this move signifies the intent that custom publishing will increasingly be driven by agencies, as an integral piece of the market."

"Fluent has proven to be adept in creating strong editorially driven programs that inspire customer loyalty," said TPAI managing director Kirk Cheyfitz, calling the latest move a "significant addition."

Following the latest acquisitions, TPAI now has more than 300 employees in five major facilities and capitalized billings of more than $120 million. TPAI also runs publishing units in New York, Madrid and Amsterdam.