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    ACNielsen and Spectra Open Inaugural VNU Consumer 360 Conference

    PHOENIX, Ariz. - More than 1,000 attendees packed today's opening session of the first-ever Consumer 360 Conference, hosted by ACNielsen U.S. and Spectra Marketing, companies of VNU.

    PHOENIX, Ariz. - More than 1,000 attendees packed today's opening session of the first-ever Consumer 360 Conference, hosted by ACNielsen U.S. and Spectra Marketing, companies of VNU, which is also the parent company of Progressive Grocer. The two-and-a-half day event will feature presentations and interactive learning sessions conducted by the host companies, other VNU-owned marketing and media information companies, leading consumer trends experts, and executives from numerous consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies.

    Steve Schmidt, president, The Americas, VNU Marketing Information, opened the conference with an acknowledgement of today's challenges and a vision for the future. "Never before has the world been so complex, with fragmented consumer segments, multiplying media and retail choices, and fast-changing world events. At the same time, never before has the CPG industry had the potential to obtain so many of the mission-critical insights it needs from a single source."

    Other general session presenters will include Maddy Dychtwald, senior vice president of Age Wave, on the implications of our aging society; Phil Lempert, food trends correspondent for the NBC Today Show, on the new rules for food marketing; Peter Fader, professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Joe Willke, president of ACNielsen BASES, on optimizing new product launches through proper positioning; Andrew Wing, president & CEO, Nielsen Entertainment, on creating a partnership with the entertainment industry; and Paul Lainis and James Russo, both of ACNielsen, on the global consumer marketplace.

    Nearly 30 workshops will be led by executives from leading CPG manufacturers and retailers in partnership with numerous VNU-owned marketing and media information companies, such as ACNielsen, Spectra, ACNielsen BASES, NetRatings, Nielsen Entertainment, Scarborough, Claritas, TDLinx, and VNU Business Publications. The sessions will provide new insights into topics such as the "early adopters" of new products, who influences purchasing decisions within the household, solving in-store issues such as out-of-stocks, the Hispanic consumer, integrated online/offline marketing, and the most important societal trends. In addition, attendees will take part in numerous hands-on training sessions on new information tools from the host companies.

    The Consumer 360 Conference combines the former ACNielsen Category Masters conference and the Spectra Consumer-Centric Marketing conference. The event is taking place at the new JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

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