The first?

The first? I’m always suspect when folks use the word “first” to describe a transaction or product launch, as in, Meredith’s acquisition of an interactive advertising agency being “the first case of a major publishing company acquiring an ad agency.” I’m especially suspect of this “first” as it is applied to an “interactive marketing” firm.

Typically, such “first” adjectives are based on the reporter or whoever is writing the press release’s inability to find someone who can recall a similar transaction. I’m too busy now, or I could probably think of one. First thing that comes to mind, however, is the very “first” (?) acquisition made by AOL — the purchase of an innovative marketing firm (a great custom publishing firm) owned by Ted Leonosis called Redgate Communications Corp.

Besides, many publishers already operate what are, in effect, marketing and advertising agencies — including Meredith.

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