Meredith Gets Hold Of Healia

    June 19, 2007

Healia, a health search engine, has been acquired by Meredith, a media and marketing company.  Little else is known about the deal, though both parties seem to have gone out of their way to note that no alarming changes will take place.

The second sentence of an official press release, for example, states, “Terms were not disclosed and the transaction will not have a material financial effect on Meredith.”

(Meredith, by the way, reaches “more than 75 million American women on a monthly basis through our publishing, broadcasting and online media brands and services,” which include “American Baby” and “Ladies’ Home Journal.”  We’re talkin’ deep pockets and/or purses, here.)

Want to know something else that’s going to stay the same?  The very last sentence of the press release discloses that Healia “will remain in the Seattle area.”  Um . . . right.

To be fair, however, some changes are in store, and the acquisition is a piece of a pattern on Meredith’s part.  AdvertisingAge’s Nat Ives reports, “The buy follows the purchase of three online agencies since last year – Genex, New Media Strategies and O’Grady Meyers – part of Meredith’s bid to extend its custom publishing, direct mail and ad sales further into the digital realm.”

Sounds like this powerful girls’ club is growing even more influential.  It’ll be interesting to see if Healia grows more female-centric in the coming months – that may have been what the “no big changes” fuss was all about.  Yet Meredith is, according to its own home page, “the leading media and marketing company focused on women,” so don’t be too surprised if Healia throws a spotlight on women’s health.