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Bluestreak Buys E-mail Company e2 Communications

Advertising firm Bluestreak, which began as a rich media player and recently expanded into ad serving technology, is stretching yet again, acquiring Plano, Texas-based e-mail marketing company e2 Communications.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The deal furthers Newport, R.I. -based Bluestreak's efforts to shed the "rich media company" label and become a full-service online advertising technology firm in the mold of industry leader DoubleClick. With the acquisition, Bluestreak moves beyond customer acquisition technology -- media and ad serving -- and gets into customer retention.

"E-mail marketing adds an important new capability that complements our corporate mission perfectly," said Peter Corrao, president and chief executive officer of Bluestreak.

Founded in 1997, e2 Communications' strengths lie in its technology products, the crown jewel of which is its e2Mail Center, an ASP product that allows marketers to craft e-mail campaign strategy, create messages, and track results.

Bluestreak's products are also offered as ASPs, so the acquisition is consistent with the company's history and philosophy. The companies plan to immediately offer the e-mail product to existing Bluestreak clients, but intend to integrate their technologies into Bluestreak's ION Marketing Platform.

The addition marks the expansion of Bluestreak's suite of products and cements the idea that the company aims to be a full-service, rather than a niche player. The company began with do-it-yourself rich media banner ad technology, then began focusing on its ad serving, reporting, and optimization capabilities -- efforts helped along by the acquisition of Engage AdKnowledge in September 2001. With this latest deal, Bluestreak declares its intention to make its mark in the e-mail space as well.

Thus far, Bluestreak has positioned itself as a boutique player next to industry leader DoubleClick. While the online ad giant has an advantage because of its strength and size, Bluestreak has not been unsuccessful in its efforts, having recently landed ad agency Carat Interactive as an ad serving client. Carat is using Bluestreak's technology in the U.S., U.K., and in France.

E2, for its part, brings to the table 400 clients, and offices in the Dallas area and in the United Kingdom. Among its clients are Adobe, Anheuser Busch, AT&T Wireless, JCPenney, and Starbucks.