LONDON, 28 JANUARY 2000 — Universal Music International (UMI) has sold Insight, its direct response compilations division, to its founder, Linda Greenhalgh, and Insight’s senior managers Denise McRae and Helen Wilkinson.

Greenhalgh, who is currently vice president of commercial and consumer marketing at UM3 (UMI’s catalogue arm of which Insight was a part) becomes chief executive of Insight. She and Insight’s six other employees in London who will remain with the newly independent company, will move into their own premises shortly.

Insight, which operates across Europe selling its own-branded compilation albums via direct response TV advertising, direct mail and catalogues, was established in July 1994 by PolyGram under the leadership of Greenhalgh.

Insight continues to license music for its releases from all record companies including Universal. Meanwhile, UM3 will adopt a more decentralised approach to its mail order compilations business in Europe. While some single artist compilations will still be developed at UM3 headquarters in London, the remainder of the business will be managed by UM3 divisions on a country-by-country basis.

Wolf Urban, senior vice president, UM3, said: “This is a good deal for everyone involved. I’m very pleased that we’ve found a way for Universal and Insight to move on while continuing to work together and take advantage of each other’s strengths. Our local companies can now take more control of their direct response business and tailor their releases to their own market conditions while Insight has the commercial freedom to go its own way. I wish Linda and her team at Insight the very best and I’m sure they will continue to be successful.”Urban will announce a new vice president of commercial and consumer marketing in due course.

Greenhalgh said: “I’m really grateful to Universal and to Wolf for giving us this opportunity. It gives us the chance to focus on growing and expanding the business as we would like, while continuing to have access to Universal’s unique and extensive catalogue. I am also pleased that I’ll still be working with my UM3 colleagues, albeit in a different capacity.

UM3 works with the Universal Music catalogue, the largest in the world, in three areas: catalogue marketing, commercial and consumer marketing and TV merchandising. Recent catalogue successes include ABBA Gold, Cher * The Greatest Hits (a 50/50 joint venture with Warner Music), Bob Marley * Songs of Freedom and Barry White * The Ultimate Collection. The commercial and consumer marketing division of Universal Music UK shipped over 3.5 million copies of a specially produced “premium” for NestlĂ© last summer. UM3’s TV division recently achieved album sales of over nine million TV advertised hit compilations in the last six weeks of 1999 as a result of its new international clearance initiative.

Established in 1994 and launched in January 1995, Insight sells specially compiled products in 22 European markets through advertising and promotions on television, radio and in the press and via catalogues, database marketing and direct mail. Greenhalgh joined PolyGram from Time Warner in July 1994 to set up the Insight business. She was promoted in 1997 to vice president PolyMedia. Prior to Time Warner, Greenhalgh worked in television and advertising.