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Nielsen Invests in Neuromarketing Research Firm NeuroFocus

February 8, 2008

The two companies are joining forces to bring new science-based market-research products, services, and metrics to clients in consumer packaged goods, television, film, and emerging media.


NEW YORK and BERKELEY, CA /PRNewswire/ -- The Nielsen Co. announced that it has made a strategic investment in NeuroFocus, an innovative firm that specializes in applying brainwave research to advertising, programming, and messaging. The two companies will work together in an alliance to develop new forms of measurement and metrics based on the latest advances in neuroscience. Details regarding the investment were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, Nielsen CEO David Calhoun will become a member of NeuroFocus' board of directors to help guide the company and its alliance with Nielsen.

Based in Berkeley, CA, NeuroFocus applies brainwave, eye-tracking, and skin conductance measurements to track the effectiveness of advertising, branding, packaging, pricing, and product design across a broad range of consumer touchpoints. Leveraging marketing, engineering, and neuroscience expertise from UC Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT, the company measures—on a millisecond-by-millisecond basis—attention, engagement, and memory retention.

The Nielsen Co. and NeuroFocus are joining forces to initially bring an array of new science-based products, services and metrics to clients in consumer packaged goods, television, film and emerging media. At the same time, Nielsen will integrate NeuroFocus' techniques into existing services to better understand the elements of successful consumer engagement. For example, NeuroFocus' techniques will become a permanent feature in Nielsen's Digital Labs research centers at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and at CityWalk in Los Angeles.

"Because Nielsen is focused on bringing innovative products and services to clients, this alliance is an extraordinary opportunity to incorporate ground-breaking science into our product offerings," said Nielsen Executive Vice President Susan Whiting. "This alliance will enable us to gather truly unique insights about consumers' attitudes and behavior about which they themselves may not even be fully aware and will complement our other measures of consumer behavior."

"This extraordinary strategic alliance enables us to bring science-based market research innovation directly to Nielsen customers across multiple industry sectors in the global market place," said Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of NeuroFocus. "The breadth of Nielsen offerings provides a rare opportunity to co-develop new products and services that measure consumer engagement and the total consumer experience using groundbreaking scientific measurement tools."

NeuroFocus uses established electroencephalography (EEG) technology to directly measure the brain's reaction to a variety of stimuli. Consumers wear a specially designed baseball cap embedded with sensors that passively track brain responses about 2000 times a second as they interact with advertising or marketing materials. NeuroFocus can precisely and instantaneously determine what parts of the messages they pay attention to; how they emotionally engage with them; and what is actually moved to memory. In addition, NeuroFocus blends eye tracking, galvanic skin response and other physiological parameters to provide a comprehensive solution that augments the brain wave analysis.

About Nielsen
The Nielsen Co. is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com.

About NeuroFocus
NeuroFocus Inc. is a market leader in bringing neuroscience to the world of advertising, messaging, packaging, and product development. NeuroFocus clients include Fortune 100 companies, across consumer package goods, food and beverage, financial services, automotive, and retail sectors. NeuroFocus clients also include major companies in the TV and Motion Picture industries. NeuroFocus leverages academic expertise in neuroscience and marketing from Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, and the Hebrew University.


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