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NEWS26 August 2009

Nielsen and IRI partner on consumer panel recruitment

North America

US— Arch rivals Nielsen and Information Resources (IRI) are creating a joint venture company to recruit, maintain and process data from a common set of households to fuel each firm’s consumer purchase panels.

Nielsen’s Homescan and IRI’s Consumer Network panels will draw purchase information from the same pool of more than 100,000 homes – in effect, shifting the focus of the firm’s competition away from basic data provision towards the development and supply of advanced analytic tools.

A statement said: “This joint venture will allow both companies to reallocate their panel investment dollars from back-end data acquisition costs towards consumer insight innovation and client-facing improvements in speed, flexibility, quality and analytical capability.”

Nielsen’s existing household sample and data acquisition infrastructure will be used as the foundation of the joint venture, with a subset of existing IRI homes being called on to replace panellists who leave the original sample.

Initially, IRI will only have access to a sample of the joint venture panel that is equivalent to 86% of the current Nielsen sample, though it does have the option of upping this to 100% after two years.

Rob Holland, Nielsen’s senior vice president of product leadership in North America, told Research certain Nielsen staff would be “rebadged” as employees of the joint venture company, called The National Consumer Panel Company.

Some openings in the JV will also be available to IRI staff, said Bob Tomei, IRI’s president of consumer and shopper insights. Redundancies, it seems, are possible – though Tomei said the impact of the deal is “really not that significant” in terms of the numbers of staff affected as much of IRI’s back-end work is currently outsourced.

Holland and Tomei are two of five board directors of The National Consumer Panel Company, alongside IRI finance chief Michael Duffy, Nielsen’s chief legal officer James Cuminale and a chief executive officer of the JV who is still to be appointed.

The JV will be operational from the first quarter of 2010. The deal also sees IRI’s RxPulse Patient Panel replaced by a new Rx panel recruited by the joint venture. Nielsen will have access to the Rx household data and will continue to be the sole provider of its Hispanic specialty panel.

@RESEARCH LIVE

3 Comments

10 years ago

In all of this, please make sure blind people are added to your sample groups. Also, this can only be made possible if your scanners are accessable to blind persons.

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10 years ago

It is too bad that it takes them over a year to even acknowledge that you have signed up. Since Shoppers hotline has merged with the above company, the current members of Shopers hotline is kicked out and could not register; even when tried it shows someone in the household has registered but that was year ago and the scanner never arrived.

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10 years ago

Yep, same problem as Anonymous. I got the "someone in the household has registered" message, apparently because I tried to participate in Homescan but was unable to because after I received the scanner I discovered I was required to have a *corded* landline phone due to the antiquated scanner hardware they use. Now when I try to convert my Shoppers Hotline membership, I can't register as a new member, and there is no link for existing members to log in. They don't answer their "contact us" email, at least not in the week since I sent the email, so...I can't say I'd give this survey system a lot of credibility were I a merchant considering signing up for their reports.

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