European research group links with U.S. Internet measurement company Media Metrix

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LONDON--Media Metrix, a U.S.-based provider of Internet audience measurement services, has agreed in principle to launch Media Metrix Europe in partnership with European research company Ipsos SA.

The goal is to provide harmonized Internet audience measurement in all major European markets. A new company will be set up called Media Metrix Europe to work with Ipsos subsidiaries Ipsos in France, Ipsos-RSL in the U.K. and GfK AG in Germany.

Audience data collection is expected to begin in Germany, the U.K. and France in the third quarter and in additional European countries as demand builds.

"Ipsos' expertise in the European market and Media Metrix' established leadership will go a long way in helping businesses, both worldwide and locally, better understand their online target audiences and make more effective advertising and marketing decisions," says Ipsos SA CEO Didier Truchot.

Tod Johnson, chairman-CEO of Media Metrix, adds: "In joining forces with leaders in media and marketing research in Europe, we intend to provide accurate, reliable and comparable Internet and digital media measurement products and services to businesses worldwide."

Media Metrix, which merged with its main competitor, RelevantKnowledge, in October 1998, has long been considered the leading Internet measurement service in the U.S., having made inroads with both advertisers and agencies. However, last month a major new competitor emerged. Nielsen Media Research, a leader in TV ratings, unveiled its partnership with California-based NetRatings to offer a sophisticated new service called Nielsen/NetRatings.

Media Metrix has already made initial forays outside the U.S. market. In 1998, it began offering audience measurement services in Sweden, and in Japan it has just finished beta tests of a Kanji meter.

Ipsos is one of the world's 10 largest market research companies, with 1998 revenues of $226 million. Ipsos is directly established in 19 countries and offers services in five main areas: market research, opinion and social research, customer satisfaction measurement, advertising testing and media research.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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