Nielsen to deliver approved online currency by 2010

UK online measurement company UKOM has appointed The Nielsen Company as its official partner to deliver an industry-agreed online audience planning system.

Marketers have been pressing for development of an online currency as a matter of urgency. The initiative has been approved with the backing of the UK’s largest advertisers and agency groups.

The UKOM Audience Planning System (APS) is set to launch in January 2010 and will allow advertisers and their agencies to plan online campaigns that target specific audiences, using an industry-approved system, in a way comparable to planning for TV with BARB data, radio with RAJAR data and print media with NRS research.

The APS will be based on a panel of at least 35,000 consumers across home and work locations and will supply online audience data down to sites as small as 50,000 unique visitors. This should provide the important reach and frequency metrics that agency planners require to build media schedules,

Guy Phillipson, CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau and director of UKOM, says: “The UKOM Audience Planning System represents a genuine milestone for the online industry. For the first time, advertisers and agencies will be able to confidently plan campaigns using industry-approved audience data comparable with traditional media, such as TV and press.

He added that Nielsen’s submission to be the supplier of the system was a close match to UKOM’s brief and that the two have worked closely and taken advice from all stakeholders, to hone the final specifications.

Neil Mortensen, Research Director at OPERA Media says: “We welcome today’s announcement and applaud UKOM and Nielsen for their efforts in establishing an industry benchmark for online audience measurement. I feel sure that this will meet the needs of marketers, media agencies and media owners alike and help accelerate growth of brand advertising online.”

Rob Salmon, Chair of ISBA’s Digital Action Group and MarComms Partner at Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Ltd says: “The ISBA Digital Action Group, as well as the wider advertising community, have long called for the formation of a user centric online audience currency. We sincerely hope that the partnership of UKOM and Nielsen will be a major development in making this happen. As a UK marketer I will welcome this new system if, as anticipated, it provides the reach and frequency data which will help us plan and place online campaigns more effectively.”

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