Meredith Expands Online Portfolio

NEW YORK Meredith moved to expand its Web marketing services with the purchase of Web agency Genex and New Media Strategies, an online word-of-mouth monitoring and influence firm.

With the acquisitions, the publishing company will expand its interactive marketing capabilities to include customer relationship management and brand monitoring and influence in consumer-generated media.

Los Angeles-based Genex handled online advertising and Web building for clients like Honda, Toyota and Citigroup. Arlington, Va.-based New Media, whose clients include ABC, Coke and Sony Pictures, trolls blogs, message boards and social networks for brand insights. It also runs campaigns to build brand buzz in consumer-generated media.

“In less than a year we’ve transformed Meredith Integrated Marketing into a comprehensive marketing services provider with cutting edge digital assets,” said John Zieser, Meredith’s chief development officer, in a statement.

The transactions increase the integrated marketing division to 200 people, Zieser said.

It will also expand services Meredith can offer clients, including into new areas like word or mouth.

“People are talking in real time about the companies they like, the films they want to see, the cars they want to drive,” said Pete Snyder, CEO of New Media. “People are making buying decisions based on what they find like-minded peers saying about a company.”

In a recent campaign for Sony Pictures, New Media tracked buzz on the film, its plot and stars, and a competitive analysis of other holiday films. It also undertook a buzz-generation effort that built awareness of an internship promotion for the film, getting it talked about on various blogs.

New Media and Genex will continue operating as their own brands, in Meredith’s integrate marketing unit.