Publishers Clearing House Acquires Blingo, Inc.
Parent of Famous Prize Patrol Welcomes Blingo's Rapidly Growing Internet 'Search and Win' Site
Port Washington, N.Y., July 10, 2006 -- Publishers Clearing House (PCH), the sweepstakes and direct marketing powerhouse, today announced the acquisition of Blingo, Inc. to extend its reach into the $9 billion Internet search engine market.
Widely known for the Prize Patrol team that awards millions to lucky sweepstakes winners, PCH found an excellent fit in Blingo, a search engine that has awarded over 22,000 prizes since launching in late 2004. Blingo users search the Internet just as they would on other popular search engines with each Blingo search providing a chance to instantly win various prizes ranging in value from movie tickets to iPods and Visa gift cards.
"We are very excited to add Blingo's Internet 'search and win' services to our rapidly growing online business," stated Andrew Goldberg, President and CEO of Publishers Clearing House. "Blingo's 'search and win' service is a perfect fit for our existing online customers and an opportunity to introduce PCH to a new audience."
Founded in 1953, PCH has given away almost $200 million in sweepstakes prizes since it started using a sweepstakes in 1967 to draw public attention to its mailings. Having achieved great success over the years in providing millions of customers with positive direct marketing experiences, PCH has been looking to stay ahead of the curve by adding new online services to its current consumer offerings.
"Publishers Clearing House, with its sweepstakes experience, proven track record and resources, is the ideal partner for Blingo," commented Frank Anderson, CEO of Blingo. "Together we expect to grow Blingo significantly by making Blingo a fun and exciting experience for our customers."
Anderson started Blingo, along with co-founder Robert Davis, as a way of combining two of the most popular themes on the Internet: searching and sweepstakes. Throughout the day, Blingo users search on the Internet as they would normally. What differentiates Blingo is that during random times Blingo awards prizes instantly. Winners simply tell Blingo where to send their prize. There is no spamming or scamming -- just 'search and win.' In addition, Blingo has instituted a bonus to sign up friends: when a friend wins a prize, you win a duplicate prize as well.
Going forward, PCH and Blingo expect to raise the bar with regard to Blingo's prize offerings. Currently Blingo focuses on smaller instant win prizes while PCH remains famous for its Super Prizes of $10 million. Blingo will likely increase the number of prizes it gives away each day as well as the size of prizes to include things like new cars or large cash prizes.
Although exact terms of the deal are not being disclosed, PCH's acquisition of Blingo was a cash deal and Blingo will continue to operate from its Mill Valley, California location. Two San Francisco firms, Pharus Advisors and JMP Securities represented Blingo and PCH respectively in negotiating the acquisition.
Famous for the Prize Patrol that surprises screaming winners on their doorsteps with huge sweepstakes prizes while TV cameras roll, Publishers Clearing House is a leading multi-channel direct marketer of value-based consumer products and magazines. Headquartered in Port Washington, NY, where it was established in 1953, PCH has awarded nearly $200 million in prizes and offers free credit and 100% satisfaction guaranteed on all items purchased through the mail or from its rapidly growing website www.pch.com.
Blingo combines search (the Internet's second most popular activity) with thousands of prizes (sweepstakes and contests are the Internet's sixth most popular activity). The Blingo Website delivers both great search results and attractive prizes to build brand loyalty and repeat traffic. Learn more about Blingo or find what you are looking for at www.blingo.com.