Field Reports - February 20111 Feb, 2011 By: Jackie Jones, Thomas Haire Response
Stacey, Woodrooffe Speak on Northern Response/Interwood Deal
TORONTO — Northern Response International Ltd., a direct response marketing company based in Canada, has integrated the business operations of DRTV agency Interwood Marketing Group. The deal went into effect Feb. 1.
In an exclusive interview with Response, Rob Woodrooffe, chairman and CEO of Interwood Marketing, says, “Our focus in recent years in the direct-to-consumer side of the business has given us an array of unique skills that fit exceptionally well into the Northern Response environment. Our suppliers will greatly benefit from Northern Response’s exceptional strength in the retail distribution of products throughout Canada. Our proprietary and licensed product ranges will provide not only Canadian but U.S. and international opportunities as well.”
Woodrooffe, a former member of both the Electronic Retailing Association’s (ERA) Board of Directors and the Canadian Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors, will join Northern Response’s Advisory Board as chairman.
“Rob’s been involved with DRTV since 1974, so he brings a one-of-a-kind perspective on the history of the industry as well as a unique vision of its future. This is especially important for the younger members of our management team who now have an opportunity to learn from Rob’s many years of knowledge and experience,” Richard Stacey, president and CEO of Northern Response and a longtime member of Response Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, tells Response.
Interwood Marketing was founded in 1974, expanded to the U.S. in 1982 and was global by 1991. It has an extensive portfolio of licensed and proprietary products including “Your Baby Can Read,” the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) 2010 Marketer of the Year award winner. Northern Response is the largest infomercial company in Canada and a multi-channel distributor selling products across a diverse range of platforms in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Discussions that led to the deal heated up in summer 2010, though Stacey and Woodrooffe’s personal and professional relationships date back decades. “I have known Richard for many years, and both of us had been respectful competitors,” Woodrooffe says. “We share a common set of Canadian values. Discussions started over the summer and, as they evolved, it seemed to make more and more sense for us to become part of their expanding business.”
Stacey adds, “I remember at the very first ERA Europe meeting in London more than 15 years ago, I was commenting to Rob how well he had done and wondered if he ever thought about selling his company. Typical of Rob’s style, he said with a smile, ‘That’s a good idea,’ promptly reached into his pocket, and said, ‘Here are the keys.’ However, talks turned serious this past summer, and we entered into an NDA to take it to the next level. It took about six months to complete the transaction.”
A large majority of Interwood’s staff was absorbed into Northern Response as part of the deal, which makes Woodrooffe particularly pleased. “This was a significant part of the rationale on our side for the deal to happen,” he says.
Stacey believes the value of the combination of the two companies will produce an even stronger Northern Response. “The Interwood customer list has never been made available outside the company,” he says. “Some of their products have never been sold in retail stores or internationally. They have exclusive media contracts on key stations on which we will now be able to air other products. We operate similar business models so there were also cost savings, synergies and economies of scale provided by a combined entity.”
DRMA Chicago Reception Set for March 7
By Jackie Jones
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) invites its members and attendees of the International Home + Housewares Show to a cocktail reception on Monday, March 7, at Chicago’s Vertigo Sky Lounge.
Presented by the DRMA, Response Magazine, Dial800 and OrderMotion, the Chicago Reception is scheduled to take place from 6-9 p.m. at the Dana Hotel and Spa’s hip 26th-floor location at 660 N. State St. in Chicago. The event is the perfect opportunity for key industry players to network the night away while getting a sneak peek at what’s in store for Response Expo 2011.
“We’re excited to announce our event’s new location at Vertigo Sky Lounge in the Dana Spa and Hotel,” says John Yarrington, publisher of Response and co-founder of the DRMA. “We anticipate this will be another sold-out DRMA event, and we look forward to once again bringing the DR community together leading up to Response Expo 2011.”
The event will bring together industry leaders in town for the International Home + Housewares Show, which runs March 6-8 at McCormick Place. Last year’s DRMA Chicago Reception at Martini Park drew more than 400 DR industry leaders. Space at this year’s cocktail reception is limited, so RSVP as soon as possible to secure your spot!
In other DRMA-related news, the first 500 DRMA members to register for an All-Access Badge for Response Expo 2011 will be entered into a drawing to win a meet and greet with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Response Expo 2011 keynote speaker. Five DRMA winners will be drawn and announced on April 1.
To enter the drawing, you must be a current DRMA member and register for an All-Access Badge before April 1. All DRMA members that have purchased an All-Access Badge from Nov. 15, 2010 forward will be eligible to enter into the drawing. The Keynote Address is presented by Euro RSCG Edge and will be held Tuesday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sapphire Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.