Merkle Acquires the Domain Group, a Seattle-based Fundraising Agency; Merkle Increases Staff, Strengthens Capabilities to Create One of the Largest Agencies for Data-Driven Direct Response Fundraising

LANHAM, Md. & SEATTLE--()--Oct. 6, 2005--Merkle (www.merklenet.com), a leading database marketing agency, announced today that it acquired the Domain Group (www.thedomaingroup.com), a direct-response fundraising agency based in Seattle. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, the 85-person Domain Group will continue to operate from its locations in Seattle and Atlanta and maintain the operating philosophies and strategies that have made it one of the country's leading direct response fundraising agencies. There will be no change in leadership, management or strategic direction of the Domain Group.

Domain Group will become part of Merkle's Agency Group, which provides a full range of services that support the strategic implementation of direct response programs to leading nonprofit and financial services institutions. The group is led by Merkle Senior Vice President Michael Mathias. The combined agency entity will have revenue of more than $70 million and over 200 employees.

Merkle is a privately held company headquartered in Maryland with additional locations in Boston, Philadelphia, Denver and Atlanta. Merkle provides quantitative marketing services and solutions to organizations in industries that include financial services, catalog/retail, consumer packaged goods, travel and leisure, entertainment, and not for profit. Like the Domain Group, Merkle works with major nonprofit fundraising organizations throughout the country. Merkle's current roster of fundraising clients includes the Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association, Christian Appalachian Project, American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and many others.

Merkle President and CEO David Williams said, "Merkle and the Domain Group have built strong reputations for developing and implementing industry-leading quantitative marketing programs that consistently demonstrate a high return on investment for major national nonprofit fundraisers. By bringing the Domain Group into the Merkle organization, we are essentially combining our highly complementary and effective approaches to create one of the largest integrated agencies that specifically focuses on nonprofit fundraisers. By joining our teams, we will strengthen what we consider to be the strongest value proposition available in the marketplace today."

Richard Perry and Timothy Burgess co-founded the Domain Group in 1990, and will continue in their current roles with Merkle. Since its inception, the company has developed record-breaking fundraising campaigns for a wide variety of organizations, including America's Second Harvest, CARE, The Lance Armstrong Foundation, Prison Fellowship, and The Salvation Army, among others. The Domain Group's 2005 billing will total approximately $40 million.

The Domain Group's co-founder, Tim Burgess said, "We are extremely excited to be joining forces with Merkle, an established industry leader. For the past 15 years, the Domain Group has built a strong reputation for providing leading nonprofit fundraising organizations with the insight and approach needed to improve donor acquisition, retain and upgrade donors, and increase net revenue. By combining our resources, our companies will have the ability to provide even greater services to the non-profit community and thereby secure more resources to help all the causes they represent."

Richard Perry added, "The combination of existing top talent from both companies will give us an extraordinary team of marketing professionals to serve the growing needs of the nonprofit community. Our companies include some of the best, most talented individuals in the industry and we share a highly complementary and like-minded approach to fundraising."

Merkle Senior Vice President and Agency Group Leader Michael Mathias said, "Both Merkle and The Domain Group have long provided fundraisers with the data-driven strategy, advanced analytics and deep experience required to successfully implement programs that allow fundraisers to acquire, retain and maximize donor activity through the effective integration of all communication channels. We are excited to expand our current offering to provide even deeper strategic, creative, and media capabilities. The combination of the Domain Group and Merkle will allow us to offer expanded services to current clients and increase investments to support innovation in the future."

About Merkle

Merkle is a database marketing agency offering quantitative, innovative marketing strategies that maximize results and demonstrate return on investment. Merkle's clients span a variety of industries and include leaders in financial services, catalog/retail, consumer packaged goods, travel and leisure, entertainment, and not-for-profit fundraising. Merkle's services and solutions include strategic consulting, business intelligence and analytics, development and maintenance of Marketing Knowledge Centers, data products, and direct mail production and processing services. With approximately 800 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near Washington, D.C. in Lanham, Maryland with additional offices in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia and Seattle. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-888-4-MERKLE or visit www.merklenet.com.

Contacts

Merkle Inc., Lanham
Mike Savage, 301-459-9700
msavage@merklenet.com
or
Media Contact:
DPR Group Inc.
Rachel Hunt, 240-686-1000
rhunt@dprgroup.com

Contacts

Merkle Inc., Lanham
Mike Savage, 301-459-9700
msavage@merklenet.com
or
Media Contact:
DPR Group Inc.
Rachel Hunt, 240-686-1000
rhunt@dprgroup.com