Nielsen acquires IAG in $225 million deal

Media research firm The Nielsen Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IAG Research, which measures effectiveness of television advertising, product placement and viewer engagement. Nielsen will use cash, notes and existing facilities to finance the $225 million deal. IAG stockholders will receive cash for their shares.

“IAG accumulates data to better understand how engaged people are with programming as well as the effectiveness of advertising.” said Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes. “It’s more qualitative, and Nielsen is the leader in quantitative data. By joining, we hope to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how advertising is working.”

Following the merger, the IAG executive team will join Nielsen, which expects the acquisition to be completed in the second quarter of 2008. “IAG will operate as an independent entity within Nielsen,” said Alan Gould, CEO of IAG.

Holmes went on to say that after Nielsen’s acquiring and investing in several companies in the past year, “a major focus is on continuing to integrate those companies with each other.”

“We want to come up with a more robust service and a deeper understanding of customer behavior,” he continued.

“In the past 25 years, media owners and agencies determined metrics of currency and effectiveness. Now advertisers have a more active roll in determining metrics for themselves, so it’s a big tectonic shift,” Gould added. “We have very deep advertiser relationships, which is an important reason for this partnership.”

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