‘L.A. Times’ Counts on Draft for DM Efforts

LOS ANGELES Following a four-month review, The Los Angeles Times has selected Interpublic Group’s Draft to craft and execute the newspaper’s direct-marketing efforts.

Draft, based in Chicago, would handle strategic planning and research for the Times‘, “primarily focusing on direct mail: acquisition, retention [and] loyalty,” said Laurie Nations, the agency’s senior vice president, group account director. She said Draft would be assisted as needed in Southern California via IPG sibling ID Media, Los Angeles.

Draft won the account in a January-February review that included “three national marketing-services agencies,” the paper said in a statement. Steve Lee, senior vice president for marketing and planning at the Los Angeles Times, said the paper “had been looking for a partner” and was “particularly impressed” with Draft’s analytical expertise.

Brand marketing and promotional efforts including radio, TV and print featuring the tagline, “Find yourself in the Times” would continue to be handled by independent Heil-Brice Advertising, Newport Beach, Calif., Lee said.

Nations said that Draft had already “completed the first phase of very deep data analysis” concerning L.A. Times subscribers. “That will really be driving a lot of what we recommend,” she said.

According to the agency’s Web site, Draft relies on a proprietary, track-able research process—a method it calls “Behavior Path Marketing”— to deliver effective direct-marketing campaigns. Among current clients are Bank of America, Verizon and the United States Postal Service.

With five regional editions and close to 1.5 million subscribers, the Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily in the country. The newspaper is owned by Chicago-based Tribune Publishing Company.

In terms of working within the client’s budget, Nations said she “believes we can make an impact.” A more specific direct-marketing spend was not immediately available.