Quebecor Creates New Marketing Group

Montreal-based printer Quebecor World, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, announced on June 16 plans to merge its retail insert, catalog, direct mail, and Sunday magazine printing divisions in the U.S. into a new integrated marketing group.

Brian Freschi, president of the firm’s U.S. retail, catalog, and Sunday magazine divisions, will head the new group. The combined group is projected to generate at least $1.8 billion in revenue through a network of 20 production facilities in the U.S.

Freschi says the $1.8 billion figure represents the amount of revenue generated last year from the three divisions — retail inserts, catalog, and direct mail. “Our focus will be on creating innovative solutions that build from print, include the Web, and are driven by analytics,” he says.

An example of this, he cites, is the company’s net.driver announced last week. Net.driver provides customers with a targeted, 1:1 marketing piece, that drives consumers to the Web in a more economical and efficient manner, he explains.

Regarding a timeframe for the merging of divisions, Freschi says: “The integration of our retail insert, catalog, and direct mail groups has been going on for several months and is nearly complete.”

He says a result of this integration was revealed in April with the launch of Integrated Multichannel Solutions. The IMCS program focuses on enhancing customer acquisition and retention, driving store traffic, increasing purchases per click on the Web, and revenue per response on direct marketing programs.

Quebecor World, one of North America’s largest book printers, has about 28,000 employees in more than 115 printing and related facilities in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

Earlier this month, Quebecor World signed an agreement to sell its European operations to Hombergh/De Pundert Group, a Netherlands-based investment group. “The sale of our European operations is an important step in our restructuring activities that we believe should enable us to exit creditor protection in North America as a stronger player in our industry,” said Quebecor World president/CEO Jacques Mallettein a statement.

Quebecor World’s European operations include 17 printing and related facilities employing approximately 3,500 people in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain and Sweden. The division produces magazines, catalogs, retail inserts, direct mail products, books and directories for retailers, publishers and branded goods companies.

The deal is expected to close by the end of June 2008.