Marketing Services Group Shuts Down WiredEmpire

Integrated marketing solutions company Marketing Services Group, Inc., Tuesday said it will immediately cease operations of its WiredEmpire subsidiary, which licenses e-mail marketing tools.

MSGi provides a wide range of traditional and interactive marketing services, including strategic planning, creative, direct marketing, database marketing and management, telemarketing, on- and offline media planning/buying, e-commerce applications, Web development and hosting, and consulting.

The company said that discontinuing WiredEmpire will increase its focus on its core direct marketing business and will expedite the company’s path to profitability.

As a result of the discontinuation of WiredEmpire, 53 jobs will be eliminated.

“We recognize that our greatest competitive strengths lie in direct marketing, and after careful analysis we have concluded that discontinuing WiredEmpire’s operations is in the best interest of Marketing Services Group and its shareholders,” said MSGi chairman and chief executive officer Jeremy Barbera.

“Recently it has become clear that in today’s marketplace, WiredEmpire’s prospects for profitability were not as strong as they needed to be. It’s our desire to provide all of our WiredEmpire clients with alternatives for an un-interrupted level of service.”

WiredEmpire’s client roster included Levi Strauss & Co. and Primedia trade publisher Intertec.

“The company will begin fiscal year 2001 with a clean slate and will reinforce the strength of our core business and provide the financial and operational flexibility to maximize value for customers and shareholders,” Barbera said.

“With the closing of WiredEmpire we are now better able to focus on our healthy core direct business. It is also important to note that we continue to believe that the Internet is critical to our customers’ businesses, and we will continue to utilize the Internet to provide solutions for our direct marketing clients.”

MSGi officials said that financial information related to the reorganization will be disclosed in the fourth quarter and year-end earnings releases before the market opens on Wednesday.

Calls to the Burlington, Mass.-based WiredEmpire were not returned by press time.

The company provides traditional and interactive marketing programs to some very big brands in the entertainment, financial services and publishing industries, including American Express, General Electric, Verizon and Walt Disney.

The company’s remaining subsidiaries include its flagship direct marketing company MSGi Direct, direct mail agency Grizzard Communications Group, data analytics and direct mail processing company TABS Direct, and e-commerce tech company and consultancy Pegasus Internet.

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