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    Best-selling Authors, AARP C.E.O. to Headline Upcoming Consumer 360 Conference

    SCHAUMBURG AND CHICAGO, Ill. -- Best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, along with AARP c.e.o. William Novelli, will headline the 2005 Consumer 360 conference, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry's premier educational and networking event hosted by ACNielsen U.S. and Spectra, both units of VNU.

    SCHAUMBURG AND CHICAGO, Ill. -- Best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, along with AARP c.e.o. William Novelli, will headline the 2005 Consumer 360 conference, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry's premier educational and networking event hosted by ACNielsen U.S. and Spectra, both units of VNU.

    The conference, which opens on March 30 in Hollywood, Florida, will feature two and a half days of keynote presentations and interactive learning sessions conducted by top CPG industry executives, the host businesses, and other VNU business units.

    "We're anticipating another full house as our lineup of speakers and breakout session topics is stronger than ever," said ACNielsen president and c.e.o. Steve Schmidt, co-host of the conference along with VNU Advisory Services president and c.e.o. Steve Wilson. "This event is all about helping our clients grow their top-line revenue through the exchange of ideas, and it all starts with the most comprehensive set of consumer insights available anywhere."

    Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of "The Tipping Point" and staff writer for the New Yorker, will offer insights from his latest book, "Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking." Seth Godin, author of six best-selling books, including "Permission Marketing" and "Unleashing the Ideavirus," and contributing editor to Fast Company magazine, will discuss The Next BIG Idea. Also on the main stage will be William Novelli, c.e.o. of AARP, who will offer his perspectives on serving the fast-growing 50-and-older population in the U.S.

    Thirty-two workshops and 15 hands-on training sessions will be offered, focusing on topics such as top-shopper attitudes and behavior, where RFID stands within the CPG industry, neighborhood merchandising, the warehouse club consumer, retail execution best practices, pricing in an EDLP world, how the CPG industry can better address consumer health concerns such as diabetes and obesity, and more.

    Helping to lead the sessions will be executives from leading CPG industry manufacturers, retailers, and consultants such as Procter & Gamble, Kellogg, Tyson Foods, Reckitt Benckiser, Heinz, Unilever, Wrigley, Family Dollar, McKinnsey & Co., the Perishables Group, and the Hartman Group. Also leading the sessions will be executives from VNU businesses and brands such as ACNielsen, VNU Advisory Services, Spectra, BASES, ACNielsen International Research, Nielsen Media Research, Nielsen/NetRatings, TDLinx, and VNU Business Publications.

    New to this year's conference is Express Coaching. Sponsored by the Network of Executive Women, Express Coaching will offer one-on-one coaching on anything from leadership to sales to staying energized on your job.

    Consumer 360 will take place at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida March 30 through April 1. An optional golf tournament will take place on March 29. For more information and to register, go to http://www.consumer360.com.

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