Nielsen vs. IRI: Battle of the research titans

Hume, Scott
October 1992
Advertising Age;10/12/1992, Vol. 63 Issue 42, p1
Trade Publication
The article focuses on the battle between Nielsen Marketing Research and Information Resources Inc. (IRI) They almost merged in 1987, but the deal was called off when it was clear the U.S. Federal Trade Commission would object. Five years later, the two companies are at each other's throats, trying to divide the U.S. market for single-source research, which tracks consumer buying patterns and media exposure. For the past several years, IRI and Nielsen have been slashing prices, trying to steal clients from each other. When IRI expanded scanner tracking to drugstores in 1991, Nielsen followed with its Procision service, claiming to track health & beauty aid products in mass merchandisers as well as drugstores. IRI and Nielsen can afford to cut leaner deals on basic data contracts because they are increasingly making their money on proprietary computer software and support systems that make the data usable and useful.


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