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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

1 Apr, 2005 By: Thomas Haire, Eric Obeck Response

Respond2, Cmedia, ATC Agency Services Combine Powers


Respond2, Cmedia, ATC Agency Services Combine Powers

PORTLAND, Ore., and WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Marketing firms Respond2, Cmedia and ATC Agency Services merged to form the direct response industry's largest independent full-service agency.


Combined, the firm boasts more than $200 million in annual billings, and it handles accounts from traditional and DRTV advertisers. The company's clients include five top long-form and four leading short-form DR campaigns currently on air.


"All of our constituent firms have enjoyed terrific growth and an ever-expanding client list, including many Fortune 100 companies that have discovered the powerful role that consumer direct marketing can play in their overall existing mix," said Tim O'Leary, the company's new chief executive officer (CEO). "And with Lake Capital's support and financial backing, we will have the expertise, capabilities, systems and scale to continue to provide our clients with new programs and analytics that will improve their advertising spend and effectiveness."

The merger will combine the creative talents of Respond2 and the media buying capabilities of Cmedia and ATC. The company will provide two production and editing facilities, two media buying offices (Portland and West Chester) and a refurbished broadcast duplication facility.

O'Leary, Respond2's CEO, will head the company while maintaining his current position. Cmedia's CEO, Michelle Cardinal, will oversee all media operations while maintaining her current position as well. ATC co-founders David Savage (a member of the Response Editorial Advisory Board) and Marilyn Davis, are executive vice presidents of media services and will continue to work from their Pennsylvania office.

 Notable news
Notable news

"Together with Cmedia, we are now the largest buyer of DRTV media in the industry, which offers our clients the best relationships, pricing and program placement possible, all tracked by the most innovative media system in the industry," said Davis. "On top of that, we can now offer our clients creative, production and back-end support on an as-needed basis delivered in a seamless manner to ensure our clients' campaigns meet and exceed their business objectives."

Coming to Response in May — an exclusive roundtable interview with the four principals in the new company — O'Leary, Cardinal, Davis and Savage — about why they decided to combine forces and what to expect from the DR market's newest big player.


Kevin Trudeau Snaps Back at FTC

CHICAGO — In September 2004, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed complaints against popular infomercial host Kevin Trudeau for false and/or misleading claims within his endorsements of products that purported to cure or treat cancer with natural remedies. Trudeau recently turned the tables and filed two separate complaints in a Chicago U.S. District Court against the Commission for similar reasons.

Kevin Trudeau
Kevin Trudeau


According to Trudeau's complaints, filed Feb. 28, the Commission violated its own rules governing deceptive communication by publicizing information about him that implied he was guilty of false advertising.

Trudeau settled the $2 million complaint and was banned from appearing in, producing or disseminating infomercials that advertised products, services or programs, particularly ones that involved health claims, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications.

In the last six months, Trudeau authored and distributed the book "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About," which has seen tremendous success. It discusses natural remedies for diseases and suggests alternatives to the pricey prescription drugs. It has become a best seller and is one of the top ranking infomercials on cable broadcasting.

Although Trudeau settled the initial claims, he did not admit wrongdoing. His complaints allege that the FTC insinuated that by settling the complaints he admitted guilt.

"The FTC played fast and loose with the facts," said David Bradford, the Jenner & Block attorney who represented Trudeau in his initial settlement. "If an advertiser manipulated the truth like the FTC has in its Web site and news releases, the FTC would not hesitate to sue them for misleading the public. The FTC has disregarded its first and foremost obligation to promote the truth."

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