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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ADVO Completes National Rollout of New Targeting System

ATZs Offer Advertisers Unprecedented Targeting Precision, Waste Reduction and Cost-Effectiveness

March 9, 1998

Windsor Connecticut -- ADVO, Inc. (NYSE: AD), the nation’s largest direct mail marketing company, today announced the nationwide availability of ADVO Targeting Zones (ATZs), the first national distribution platform that enables advertisers to target their ads to niche consumer clusters of about 3,500 households each, using shared, or co-op, mail. ATZs are neighboring postal carrier delivery routes within a ZIP Code that are clustered together based on shared demographic characteristics (age, income, household size and ethnicity) and proximity to key retail shopping areas. National, regional and local advertisers can now target ATZs based upon each unit’s specific consumer demographic, lifestyle and purchase behavior makeup. Because ATZs are targeted using ADVO’s shared mail program, with its built-in postal efficiencies, print advertisers can now obtain an unprecedented level of precision targeting, waste reduction and cost-effectiveness.

"ADVO’s ATZs mark a new targeting paradigm for response-oriented advertisers who want to increase the return on their advertising investment," said Robert "Kam" Kamerschen, ADVO’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "No other print advertising program can offer advertisers customized targeting solutions at such an affordable price as ADVO can using ATZs." Mr. Kamerschen added that since ADVO began rolling out ATZs in 1996, a significant number of clients across many industries have already effectively used them.

ADVO developed ATZs with the support of Business Location Research (BLR) Data, a nationally known provider of retail site-location modeling, and in association with Claritas, Inc., the country’s leading provider of local area demographic and consumer expenditure data; Geographic Data Technology, Inc. (GDT); and Tactician Corporation. The new targeting system is overlaid with ADVO’s resident address list, the largest and most accurate in the country.

"ATZs were designed to be effective for all site-based retailers and service providers. They provide traditional shared mail print advertisers, such as grocers, drug stores, mass merchandisers, quick service restaurants and auto dealers with the opportunity to improve their advertising effectiveness through circular versioning, competitive blunting, and unique, store-specific advertising campaigns, all of which depend upon precise targeting. ATZs also provide traditional solo mail advertisers such as banking, financial services, insurance and telecommunications companies, an efficient, cost-effective medium that dramatically reduces their cost per response," said Stephen Webster, ADVO’s Vice President of Strategic Business Planning and Development.

In conjunction with the completion of the national rollout of ATZs, ADVO’s sales and field marketing associates are now armed with state-of-the-art technology in order to play a more consultative role with their clients. Each associate has a laptop computer programmed with ADVO TargeterTM, a proprietary mapping software program that can overlay an advertiser’s trading area with over 850 consumer targeting variables at the ATZ level. The laptops also provide access to an extensive array of industry specific research and other information through ADVO’s intranet site, all designed to enable associates to develop customized targeting solutions in "real time" with their clients. An upgraded version of ADVO Targeter is scheduled for rollout in May.

"We firmly believe that value is created in the office of the client," said Mr. Kamerschen. "Our unique combination of industry-specific insights, targeting capabilities and state-of-the-art technology now enable our sales force to play a more consultative role as they help our clients tackle today’s increasingly complex marketing challenges."

ADVO is the nation's largest full-service targeted direct mail marketing services company with annual revenues of over $1 billion. ADVO specializes in shared and solo direct mail services and provides customized Microtargeting® solutions at an affordable price for its clients' print advertising needs. The Company's Mailbox Values® branded shared mail program is distributed nationally to approximately 60 million households weekly. An additional 17 million households can be reached on a shared mail basis through ADVO's National Network Extension (ANNE). ADVO has 19 mail processing facilities and 65 sales offices nationwide. ADVO's corporate headquarters are located at One Univac Lane, Windsor, Connecticut 06095.

 

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