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In-Store TV Sways Consumers

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NEW YORK Consumers for the most part enjoy watching ad-supported media while grocery shopping and their buying decisions are often influenced by such messages.

So says a Nielsen Media Research study that examined in-store media provided by Fairfield, Conn.-based SignStorey. Albertsons and Pathmark are among the grocers that carry the SignStorey video network, which is now in 1,300 stores.

According to the study, 68 percent of those surveyed said in-store messages would sway their product purchasing decisions. Another 44 percent said they would swap a product they had intended to buy for one advertised on SignStorey.

The study, Nielsen's first customized analysis of supermarket data, gauged overall SignStorey viewership at close to 40 percent. (That figure—which represents approximately 22 million shoppers—included consumers who briefly glanced at the screens, listened to messages or watched intently for extended periods.)

SignStorey CEO Virginia Cargill described her network as "an enhancement to the customer." She added, "Retailers get a halo effect, since they're viewed as being modernized."

The Nielsen research provides "the advertising community with the metrics they need to effectively utilize in-store media," said Jim Spaeth, founding partner of Sequent Partners. In-store media are useful because they "help advertisers better understand and quantify the opportunity to reach target demographics," he said.

"In-store television is maturing as an advertising medium," said Beth Corbett, vice president of New Media Services for Nielsen, which is owned by Adweek parent VNU.

According to research house PQ Media, in-store TV ads tallied nearly $100 million in 2005 revenue, a 45 percent increase from the previous year.

Some say the numbers are significantly higher. For example, Mark Mitchell, Premier Retail Network's executive vice president of ad sales, said his network alone sold roughly $100 million in-store ads in 2004, with sales jumping more than 10 percent the next year.

Other in-store networks include InStore Broadcasting Network and Ignition.