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Nielsen Selected to Provide Online Currency for the U.K. Digital Industry

Landmark UKOM Appointment Reflects Nielsen Expertise in Setting Standard For Internet Measurement Across the Globe

New York and London, September 29, 2009 – The Nielsen Company announced today that it has been appointed by UKOM, the U.K. Online Measurement body, as its official partner to create the country’s first currency for planning advertising campaigns on the Internet.  Nielsen’s selection for this landmark work reflects its global leadership in setting the standard for Internet measurement, and expands the number of countries for which it provides the online currency of choice to 10 of the world’s largest markets.

In addition to the U.K., Nielsen provides the currency of choice in France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, China and South Africa. Earlier this month, Nielsen also announced it had acquired KoreanClick, the leading Web measurement company in South Korea, making it a global leader in online measurement across 30 markets, including the United States and Australia.

“We are delighted to help UKOM build the U.K.’s first industry-agreed online planning tool,” said John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen’s online division.  “Our selection–supported by media, advertisers and agency groups–demonstrates the marketplace’s confidence and trust in the reliability, consistency and validity of our online media measurement. As with last week’s announcement of our strategic alliance in the U.S. to develop products to measure ad effectiveness online with Facebook, we are committed to partnering with our clients to help them compete in the marketplace,” added Burbank.  “We look forward to working with UKOM and continuing to play this significant role in realizing the tremendous potential of the Web as an advertising medium.”

Set to launch in January 2010, the UKOM Audience Planning System (APS), powered by Nielsen, gives advertisers and their agencies the ability to plan media schedules around a single, benchmark source of highly accurate and consistent online data, just as they currently do in the U.K. for TV, radio and print media. 

Guy Phillipson, CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and director of UKOM, said: “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. Nielsen’s original submission to be the supplier of this system was a close match to UKOM’s exacting brief and we have worked closely with them, taking advice from all stakeholders, to hone the final specifications. I’m confident the UKOM Audience Planning System will transform the medium for brand advertisers.”

Providing the all-important online reach and frequency metrics that agency planners require to build media schedules, the planning system will supply U.K. online audience data for sites with at least 50,000 unique visitors a month, and more.

In 2008, according to the IAB, the U.K. Display Ad market was worth £637M (U.S. $1,020M) – 90 percent more than in 2005. However, display’s growth has lagged behind the other two major forms of online advertising – search (up 159 percent) and classifieds (up 173 percent). The planning currency will help display advertising grow much faster by giving advertisers the confidence to commit more budget to this form of advertising.