To the Editor:

While I understand the way you reported the recent marketing agreement between First Data and Donnelley Marketing ("First Data, Donnelley Join to Fight Credit Bureaus," Aug. 6, page 12), I would like to clarify some important issues regarding the strategic intent that may have been misinterpreted.

This agreement was not signed to simply provide prospect lists for card marketers. This agreement is unique primarily because it creates a single source for accessing all elements of a card marketing program. In essence, the intent of both companies is to reduce the response time between planning and qualification, and offer unmatched control in both premail targeting and post-response analysis.

The claim made by (Donnelley national accounts director) Sophie Miller was misleading and did not accurately represent the purpose of the agreement between our companies. As an information provider, First Data Infosource serves several of the credit bureaus and values them as important partners. It would be foolish of us to market a product that might negatively impact these relationships.

In short, at no time in this agreement process did Infosource or Donnelley Marketing intend to create a service that would replace the functions of credit bureaus in card marketing.

Mike Geppert

Vice president of marketing,

First Data Infosource

Omaha

Editor's note: First Data Corp. announced Sept. 5 - well after the American Banker article appeared and Mr. Geppert's letter was written - that it had agreed to acquire Donnelley Marketing Inc. for $185 million.

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