IAG measures up to Nielsen's standards

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The Nielsen Co. has agreed to acquire IAG Research, whose clients include many entertainment industry players, for $225 million in cash in the latest move to beef up its ability to gauge how well advertising messages work.

Nielsen is the corporate parent of The Hollywood Reporter, AdWeek, Billboard and other trade media brands.

IAG is a privately held firm based in New York that measures consumer engagement with TV programs, national commercials and product placements. Among other things, it measures how much consumers recall and enjoy ad messages. Founded in 2000, the company reported $35 million in revenue last year.

IAG co-founders and co-CEOs Alan Gould and Ken Orkin have agreed to join Nielsen. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter.

IAG lists about 75 clients on its Web site, including such blue-chip marketers as General Motors, Ford, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, eBay and most of the major film studios and broadcast networks.

"IAG will add a new dimension to Nielsen's media business and will be the cornerstone for a new analytics practice that will provide our clients with even greater insights and clarity," Nielsen chairman and CEO David Calhoun said.

The IAG co-founders expressed the hope to reach a broader user base with their services once the sale is completed.

"In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, we believe strongly that advertisers and media companies need the insight that Nielsen and IAG can provide together," they said.

Nielsen has made several acquisitions as of late, including that of mobile marketing researcher Telephia.
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