SOURCE: The Laredo Group

February 25, 2008 12:54 ET

The Laredo Group Acquires LearningCraft

Acquisition Powers Expansion Into Technical and Creative Training

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - February 25, 2008) - The Laredo Group, Inc., the leading agency, sales and marketer interactive advertising and media training and consulting firm, today announced that it has acquired LearningCraft, LLC., a company that specializes in Media Development Training, including how to use the latest interactive technologies such as Flash 8 and CS3 and video to produce engaging media content and ad units.

Rob Graham, CEO of LearningCraft, will join The Laredo Group as Vice President of Creative & Technical Training and help drive a newly expanded training curriculum. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.

The acquisition accelerates The Laredo Group's growth that includes the appointment in July of Jason Heller, the co-founder/CEO of Mass Transit Interactive and later, Managing Director of Horizon Interactive, as Executive Vice President, and head of the firm's newly opened New York office; and Maria Harrison, founding board member of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association and Director of Online Marketing for Interval International, an IAC company, as Vice President of Marketing.

"Both companies have long been focused on creating the highest quality training materials for online marketing professionals," says Leslie Laredo, Founder and President of The Laredo Group. "With our new synergy, we're able to expand the types of instruction we offer to include marketing channel specific topics along with interactive media training designed to meet the needs of creative teams. Over the next few months we'll be introducing a number of new training programs designed to get publishing and advertising teams of all types up-to-speed with the latest online marketing technologies and methodologies."

The Laredo Group is already offering new courses for 2008 focused on Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, Emerging Digital Media and Interactive & Integrated Advertising. Among the new offerings that incorporate LeaningCraft's knowledgebase and expertise are: 'Online Ad Campaign Measurement and Analytics,' 'Behavioral Targeting Application and Best Practices' and 'Whole Team Marketing,' a new course focused on bringing Creative and Media teams together to create flawless online ad campaigns. The Laredo Group will also continue to offer LearningCraft's existing online courses which provide self-paced and hands-on instruction of interactive media development using Adobe Flash.

"This move made sense for all of us and puts The Laredo Group in a position to expand its leadership in online industry agency, marketing and sales training," says Mr. Graham.

Mr. Graham, who has been active in interactive marketing since 1990, is the author of two books covering online marketing topics. His latest book, "Fishing From a Barrel," takes an energetic and foundational look at how behavioral targeting is changing the face of advertising as we know it and introduces readers to the fundamentals of behavioral targeting technologies and how advertisers and publishers can use BT to achieve greater campaign and ROI results for their online advertising. Mr. Graham is also an adjunct professor at Harvard University Extension and the University of Massachusetts - Lowell where he teaches informational and instructional design, online marketing methodologies and e-business classes.

"Having Rob on our team goes a long way towards building out areas of training that the market has demanded," says Laredo Group CEO Jeff Leibowitz. "He has a proven track record of training excellence and we look forward to his involvement and guidance as we continue to grow our curriculum and staff. There continues to be extremely high demand for our training from the agency, publisher and marketer worlds that is transitioning from traditional to digital much more quickly, and with much higher stakes, than in the past."

Hi Res Photo of Mr. Graham available on request

Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1996 and now headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, The Laredo Group (www.laredogroup.com) is the leading training and consulting firm dedicated to helping clients increase sales and decrease costs through knowledge and efficiencies related to online advertising buying and selling, search engine marketing, and site optimization. The Laredo Group provides customized general sales training & coaching for companies and individuals, media training for buyers and sellers, and custom consulting services designed to increase the revenue potential and production of staff and products for both traditional, online and cross-platform sales and marketing activities. The client list of The Laredo Group includes many of the world's largest and most successful companies as well as smaller firms, start-ups and many industry associations.

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