AC Nielsen, the consumer research giant, has bought Media
Monitoring Services, its main UK rival for advertising measurement
services, for an undisclosed sum.
MMS, which is a privately owned company, tracks advertising spend across
the print, television, radio, direct mail, cinema and outdoor channels
for media companies, agencies and advertisers. Through its acquisition,
AC Nielsen will consolidate its position in media research across
Europe, while MMS clients will have access to global research data.
Charles Fulton, managing director of MMS, who will head the integrated
Nielsen MMS operation in the UK, said: ’The combination of MMS and AC
Nielsen Media International provides clients with the best of both
worlds - unmatched local media coverage and the broadest international
reach in the industry.’
The management team at MMS will remain unchanged. Fulton will report to
AC Nielsen UK’s managing director, Mark Hallam.
Steven Yung, president of AC Nielsen International, emphasised the
convenience of a one-stop shop that the merger will bring to companies.
’The services will not only be local, but regional and global as well,
and they will have a holistic view of how advertising works with
information on the internet, TV, radio, outdoor and direct marketing
AC Nielsen hopes that the acquisition will strengthen its position in
tendering for the UK BARB contract, which will be awarded during the
first quarter of next year. The company has also invested almost pounds
30 million in an e-ratings system that has been set up to create an
international standard for measuring web traffic.
Yung, who said he would commit to a multi-million-pound investment in
the UK operation, explained that he wanted to create ’a big company with
the soul of a small company, which is capable of being nimble’.
AC Nielsen provides media measurement services in over 40 countries,
monitoring more than 75 per cent of the world’s advertising spend
outside the US.
Yung claimed: ’We are in a unique position to be the key insights
provider to the dollars 400 billion global advertising industry.’