WPP Group has signed a joint venture deal to launch the first service for tracking internet audiences, advertising and user activity in Latin America.
The partners in the new company, called IBOPE eRatings.com, are IBOPE Media Information, a WPP associate, and ACNielsen Corporation subsidiary, AC Nielsen eRatings.com. IBOPE Media Information is an associate member of the Kantar Group, WPP's information and consultancy arm.
IBOPE eRatings.com is positioning itself to become a leading provider of internet audience measurement services in Latin America. The expansion into Latin America is driven by the strong projected growth of internet usage in the region, where the number of internet users is projected to grow from 9 million in 1999 to nearly 38 million by 2003.
IBOPE eRatings.com will market the service in Latin America under the Nielsen/NetRatings brand, keeping a single identity consistent with the brand that was launched in the US in March 1999. It is expected to cover more than 30 countries by the end of 2001.
Paul Donato, president of Kantar Media Research, which represents WPP's global media research interests, said, "This alliance presents a tremendous opportunity to link internet audiences to the audiences of TV, radio and press and to the insights into consumer purchase behaviour that the partners currently supply to the market. As media converge, our research capabilities will evolve to provide a seamless analysis of the total media and marketing picture."