Nielsen, Catalina in Joint Venture

Nielsen is teaming up with Catalina Marketing to form a joint venture that will offer marketers data packages linking TV viewing and online usage patterns with consumer buying behavior. The 50-50 partnership is called Nielsen Catalina Ventures.

The service combines Nielsen’s TV and online measurement data with information from Catalina’s database that tracks the retail buying habits of 50 million shoppers nationwide.

The companies said that by linking consumers’ media use with in-store purchase behavior, the venture will enable consumer packaged-goods marketers and media companies to gauge how successfully ad campaigns are driving sales.

The venture has support from both Hershey and Unilever. “The ability to understand how advertising influences how consumers shop and what brands they buy continues to be an important question for our company,” said John Bilbrey, president of Hershey North America. “We look forward to working with [Nielsen and Catalina] in this innovative new venture.”

Added Laura Klauberg, vp global media, Unilever: “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.” The new initiative, she said, “is another important step forward” in achieving that goal.

Marketers have been clamoring for such data for years, and the venture represents Nielsen’s latest effort to provide it. Several years ago it developed a similar product with other partners called Project Apollo, but that push ultimately didn’t go forward because many potential clients deemed it too expensive.