The Nielsen Company, Catalina Marketing announce JV


The Nielsen Company and Catalina Marketing Corporation, a leader in consumer-driven print communications, have formed “Nielsen Catalina Ventures” to create the next generation of precision media solutions and ROI measurement tools to allow consumer packaged goods and media companies to more effectively link the marketing exposures consumers see with what products they actually buy. Mike Nazzaro, Chief Executive Officer, Nielsen Catalina Ventures, was selected by Nielsen and Catalina to run the JV. He’s a former Nielsen executive, P&G executive and entrepreneur.

The 50-50% joint venture will integrate information from Nielsen’s TV, Internet and household purchase panels, with purchase data from more than 50 million shoppers from a cross-section of retailers in Catalina Marketing’s network.

By directly and anonymously linking consumers’ television and online usage with in-store purchase behavior, Nielsen Catalina Ventures will enable CPG marketers and media companies to understand how well media campaigns are driving actual consumer buying behavior. This unprecedented level of insight will help marketers shape their marketing and media campaigns for a greater return on investment.  The JV will build on the success of Nielsen’s Internet ad effectiveness business – and create the industry’s first TV ROI measurement service using data from Nielsen’s National People Meter panel.

“As consumers become more sophisticated and media platforms continue to fragment, advertisers must be able to build more precise and measurable media plans,” said David Calhoun, Chairman and CEO, The Nielsen Company. “The only way to get there is with faster, deeper information. Nielsen and Catalina’s combined capabilities provide comprehensive, scalable solutions for clients to better shape their marketing investments and measure their campaign ROI with far greater precision, speed and agility. We are pleased to partner with Catalina Marketing in this first step toward a holistic measure of ROI that will redefine accountability in the CPG space.”

“Now more than ever we need new approaches to link Nielsen’s benchmark view of what consumers watch on television with how they spend their time online, and then understand how that attention to advertising translates into real shopping motivations,” said Laura Klauberg, Vice President, Global Media, Unilever.  “This collaboration is another important step forward in bringing these insights directly to marketing and media executives across our industry.” 

Nielsen Catalina Ventures will launch its first precision media solutions in the first half of 2010. Nielsen’s existing television and online precision media businesses, which currently use Nielsen’s Homescan purchase panel to match media consumption with purchase behavior, will be integrated with Catalina Marketing’s shopper data. This will allow analyses for many more brand campaigns than is currently possible. And for the first time ever, the television offering will be based on data from Nielsen’s National People Meter panel, the industry currency, to create solutions for measuring the sales impact of TV advertising campaigns.

The JV will be a separate legal entity based in Cincinnati, with both Nielsen and Catalina Marketing contributing data, talent and other resources.

RBR-TVBR observation: Looks a bit like this takes the place of the now-defunct Project Apollo—at least for Nielsen. Arbitron and The Nielsen Company terminated Project Apollo in 2/08. It was proposed as a single-source, national research service measuring consumer purchase behavior.  The two companies had been working on the pilot project since early in 2005 and clients that were participating in testing (not necessarily funding) included Kraft, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and SC Johnson.