The Nielsen Company acquires IAG Research for $225 million in all-cash deal

Media giant The Nielsen Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IAG Research, a firm that measures the effectiveness of television advertising, product placements and viewer engagements, in an all-cash deal estimated at $225 million.

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media conglomerate and reported revenue in excess of $4.7 billion last year. It is the owner of numerous well-known companies and publications.

IAG is a privately held firm based in New York that measures consumer engagement with television programs, national commercials and product placements. Among other things, it measures how much consumers recall and enjoy advertising messages. Founded in 2000, the company reported $35 million in revenue last year.

Nielsen considers the work done by IAG to be complementary to its own extensive media research activities. ''IAG accumulates data to better understand how engaged people are with programming as well as the effectiveness of advertising,'' said Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes. ''It's more qualitative, and Nielsen is the leader in quantitative data. By joining, we hope to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how advertising is working.''

IAG has an impressive roster of clients, among them such notable names as Anheuser-Busch, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Ford, Microsoft, Verizon and eBay. It also counts most of the major film studios and broadcast networks among its customers.

Following the merger, the IAG executive team including co-founders and co-CEOs Alan Gould and Ken Orkin, will join Nielsen. Gould insisted that he had been promised complete freedom of operation saying, ''IAG will operate as an independent entity within Nielsen.'' The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.