NEWS21 April 2011

Nielsen to measure product placement effectiveness for ITV

New business UK

UK— Nielsen IAG has won a contract to measure the effectiveness of product placement for ITV.

The broadcaster said it selected Nielsen for the task after speaking “at length” with several potential providers. The contract will run initially for 36 weeks.

Product placement has been allowed in UK TV programmes since March, following a change in the law. The first placed product – a Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee machine – appeared on ITV’s This Morning programme.

Nielsen IAG’s methodology uses a panel of participants who keep a record of what they watch on TV using a web-based system, and answer questions about what they have seen. IAG was bought by Nielsen in 2008 for $225m.

The system can be used to measure engagement with programme content as well as the ads that appear around it, and any placements within the programme itself.

Sarah Messer (pictured), ITV’s head of commercial research, told Research: “We’re just looking at product placement at the moment, but I’d hope that eventually we would start buying into the ad engagement and programme engagement side of it too – it could start to paint a really interesting holistic picture.”

Nielsen IAG’s system has been used to research product placement in the US since 2005, and last year ITV used it for advance tests of product placements in episodes of Coronation Street.

The firm also done research on product placement in American programmes shown on UK television, which suggested that the effect on people’s views of brands was similar to levels seen in the US.