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    VNU Rolling Out In-store Measurement Service

    NEW YORK -- VNU, the parent company of Progressive Grocer here, has joined forces with the In-Store Marketing Institute to develop a measurement service for tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of consumer promotions in the store

    NEW YORK -- VNU, the parent company of Progressive Grocer here, has joined forces with the In-Store Marketing Institute to develop a measurement service for tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of consumer promotions in the store.

    The new service is based on a development effort known as P.R.I.S.M. (Pioneering Research for an In-Store Metric), conducted early this year by a consortium of retailers and manufacturers led by the In-Store Marketing Institute. The P.R.I.S.M. Project provided the retail industry with a common language to measure in-store consumer reach. Consortium members include 3M, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Miller Brewing, Procter & Gamble, and the Walt Disney Company, with support from Albertsons, Kroger, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, among other retailers.

    Nielsen In-Store, a new unit of VNU, is developing the service. It will measure consumer exposure to a fast-growing, powerful assortment of in-store marketing vehicles such as television and radio, shelf talkers, digital signage, and other point-of-purchase displays. Together, these in-store marketing approaches make up the sixth-largest advertising vehicle in the United States, at $18.6 billion in spending in 2005.

    Nielsen In-Store is part of NielsenConnect, a recently founded division of VNU that will integrate the company's vast store of consumer and media intelligence from dozens of business units to offer clients clear, actionable information and forward-looking insights.

    "In-store marketing provides manufacturers and retailers with a unique opportunity to reach a large and responsive consumer audience," said VNU chairman and c.e.o. David L. Calhoun in a statement. "Until now, however, no one has been able to measure the impact of in-store marketing clearly and accurately. Nielsen In-Store, working as part of our new NielsenConnect unit, will connect resources and capabilities from across VNU to 'follow the consumer' in this critical arena. Working with the institute, we will deliver an innovative service that will allow our clients to quantify the impact of in-store marketing and assess its value in comparison with other media and marketing options."

    Added Laura Desmond, c.e.o. of The Americas of Starcom MediaVest Group: "As consumers increasingly demand more from marketers, and assume more control over how they choose to receive marketing messages, it's clear that we need not only to understand, but also to master, these engagement 'touchpoints.' In-store marketing is a critical communications device. It deserves a seat at the table, and this partnership between the institute and VNU now enables this powerful, game-changing service to be delivered to the retail industry."

    The service will additionally aid retailers in boosting results via improved store layouts, category adjacencies, and product selection. "The new information we provide for retailers and manufacturers will help them work more effectively to improve the shopping experience for consumers," said George Wishart, global managing director of Nielsen In-Store. "We also will provide the advertising, media, and retail industries with a new currency standard that can increase the efficiency of the media buying and selling process."

    Wishart said the service would employ the measurement, analytical, and marketing capabilities of several VNU businesses, including ACNielsen for retail measurement, consumer panel, and retailer services; Nielsen Media Research for audience measurement and analysis; and Interactive Market Systems for media planning and modeling. The service will also use the retail insights of VNU's Spectra, Trade Dimensions, and BASES businesses, in addition to VNU Business Media, which runs the GlobalShop trade show and publishes a variety of marketing, media and retailing industry magazines and web sites.

    The lead-market phase of the new service launches in the United States early next month, allowing it to be tweaked before it's made widely available to the industry later in 2007. The service will be offered worldwide in the future, leveraging VNU's global presence, which includes tracking in-store activity in over 90 countries.

    Based near Chicago, the In-Store Marketing Institute is a global organization of brand marketers, retailers, agencies, and manufacturers dedicated to bettering retail marketing strategy. The institute provides information, research, education, and training, networking opportunities, trade publications, and trade shows designed to further the understanding, acceptance, and effectiveness of in-store marketing.

    VNU is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing), and trade shows.

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