MEDIAMARK READY TO OFFER CD-ROM DATA MANAGEMENT: SIMMONS' AFFINITY SYSTEM TAKES DIFFERENT TACK ON READER INVOLVEMENT

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Mediamark Research Inc. is introducing MRI+, a new CD-ROM data management system for media planners that combines a wide array of reader and ad information.

The new system bundles MRI's magazine audience research, standard rate card information from more than 6,000 magazines, and industry data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Magazine Publishers of America and other sources.

"We saw the need for a comprehensive tool for media planners and buyers," said Alain Tessier, chairman-CEO of MRI. "This is an opportunity to bring all the disparate materials together."

'DIFFERENT APPROACHES'

Rebecca McPheters, president-CEO at rival Simmons Market Research Bureau, said her company and MRI are "taking vastly different approaches to differentiating ourselves from each other."

Simmons last week launched a new product called Affinity, which measures a reader's emotional and intellectual involvement with a magazine.

The assumption behind the product is that readers are more likely to read and believe advertising appearing in magazines for which they have a high regard. The product appears to be positioned against Audits & Surveys new total-audience study based on magazines' circulation databases.

BEYOND MEDIA KITS

MRI+ also will allow magazine publishers, for a fee, to direct special messages including text and graphics to planners and buyers about features such as off-card rates, multiple-insertion discounts and other information not normally included in media kits.

The fee has not been finalized, said Robert Warrens, director of the project, but he estimated it would be "around $50 per page per month."

MRI+ will be distributed free to MRI clients starting at the end of October. After that, it will be sent, also free of charge, to ad agencies and magazines that are not MRI clients. Updates will be mailed monthly.

"The idea is to have the broadest possible distribution so that publishers get

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