VNU partners with In-Store Marketing Institute for store research

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Dutch media giant VNU will create a global measurement service in a new partnership announced with the In-Store Marketing Institute, a global organization of brand marketers, retailers, agencies and manufacturers.

The service is expected to help marketing professionals better understand how to reach and influence consumers while they are in the store and making their final purchasing decisions.

The project is an extension of P.R.I.S.M. (Pioneering Research for an In-Store Metric) conducted in early 2006 by a group of retailers and manufacturers led by the In-Store Marketing Institute.

P.R.I.S.M. aims to give the retail industry a common language to measure in-store consumer reach.

Members of the consortium include 3M, Coca-Cola Co., Kellogg, Miller Brewing, Procter & Gamble Co. and the Walt Disney Co. Retailers like Albertsons, Kroger, Walgreen's and Wal-Mart provide additional support.

The new service, which will be developed through a new unit of VNU called Nielsen In-Store, will measure consumer exposure to an array of in-store marketing vehicles, including television and radio, shelf talkers, digital signage and other point-of-purchase displays.

These in-store marketing approaches stand as the sixth largest advertising vehicle in the United States, with spending at $18.6 billion in 2005.

The lead-market phase of the service will be launched early this year, with plans to extend globally by year's end.

The service also will help retailers improve results through better store layouts, category adjacencies and product selection.

George Wishart will act as global managing director for Nielsen In-Store. He previously served as president/CEO of VNU's Market Systems, a provider of media-planning software.

The new service will draw on the measurement, analytical and marketing capabilities of a number of VNU businesses, including ACNielsen for retail measurement, consumer panel and retail services; Nielsen Media Research for audience measurement and analysis; and Interactive Market Systems for media planning and modeling.

The service also plans to tap into the retail insights of VNU's Spectra, Trade Dimensions and BASES businesses. It will also rely on VNU Business Media, which operates the GlobalShop trade show and publishes a number of marketing, media and retailing industry magazines and Web sites.

The Chicago-based In-Store Marketing Institute focuses on improving retail-marketing strategies worldwide. More information can be found at www.instoremarketer.org or at www.vnu.com.

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