Articles of Interest

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Yahoo! News - Arbitron, VNU, Procter Form Market Research Pact

Yahoo! News - Arbitron, VNU, Procter Form Market Research Pact
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble, market research group VNU and radio ratings service Arbitron Inc. on Wednesday announced a deal to explore developing a research service to study how consumers react to advertising.

The service would study how exposing consumers to advertising on multiple media affects their shopping and purchasing behavior. Arbitron and VNU said the service would be separate and distinct from any rating services already provided for TV and radio.

The service would study subjects who carry Arbitron's Portable People Meter, a small, pager-like device that keeps track of their exposure to multiple media sources.

Data on consumer preference and purchases would be collected electronically and via surveys. Some households would be part of VNU's ACNielsen's Homescan consumer panel, which tracks packaged goods purchases.

Netherlands-based VNU's Nielsen Media business is the leader in measuring television ratings in the United States. It also publishes trade magazines such as Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter and has a business partnership with Reuters Group Plc .

Earlier this week, VNU agreed to sell its directories unit to venture capital groups Apax and Cinven for 2.075 billion euros ($2.55 billion) as it focuses on high-growth businesses.

Analysts have said they expected VNU may use part of the proceeds for acquisitions, with Arbitron being named among several likely targets. But analysts said such a deal would probably face opposition by regulators.


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