Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC
13 March 2000
Taylor Nelson Sofres acquires media monitoring company in US
Taylor Nelson Sofres, one of the world's leading market information groups,
announces that it has reached agreement to acquire Competitive Media
Reporting (CMR), the largest provider of advertising tracking services in the
US, for a cash consideration of US$88.0 million. The acquisition
considerably strengthens the group's position in media monitoring and
expands one of its key growth sectors into the world's biggest market. It
also brings to the group the leading US Internet advertising expenditure
business, CMR Interactive.
Completion, which is subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) in Washington, is expected within four to six weeks. In the year ended
31 December 1999, CMR had a pro-forma profit before tax of US$7.5 million on
turnover of US$54.1 million. Net assets at that date were US$8.9 million.
The company is being sold by VNU Advertising Expenditure, Inc. as an FTC
requirement, following the recent acquisition by the VNU group of Nielsen
Headquartered in New York, CMR tracks over US$65 billion in advertising
expenditure across all media. CMR Interactive has already established itself
as the leader in its field, monitoring advertising activity on the largest
revenue generating web sites.
Tony Cowling, Taylor Nelson Sofres Executive Chairman, said: 'CMR has an
impressive market share, tracking around 25 per cent of the world's
advertising expenditure and is at the forefront of its industry. As advances
in technology increase the range of media to which consumers are exposed and
the demand for Internet information forges ahead, the importance of
competitive advertising intelligence rises even faster. We have identified
media monitoring as a key growth sector for Taylor Nelson Sofres and this is
a major step forward for us. It builds on the acquisitions we have made to
establish our leading position in Europe over the past couple of years.
'With our strong media monitoring operations in France - TNS Secodip, Spain,
Scandinavia and the UK, where we own Tellex, Taylor Nelson Sofres counts
among its clients the same top advertising agencies and media buyers as CMR.
Together, we will offer major clients a consistent and comprehensive service
on an international basis. We welcome into the group a highly-skilled team,
with a strong management, extensive industry knowledge and broad operational
'The acquisition strengthens the group's overall position in the US and
provides another base from which we can develop activities in that important
Providing integrated information solutions
CMR acts as a comprehensive competitive resource for consumer and business
marketers. Using the industry's premier advertising data collection system,
it tracks more than 100 million adverts, as well as expenditure and the
introduction of new campaigns, in thousands of markets. This data is then
supplied as integrated information solutions, targeted to the needs of CMR's
Over the past two years, CMR has made significant investments in specific
initiatives to streamline costs, increase the value of its core businesses
and open new market opportunities. These include the development of new,
electronic products to provide enhanced information solutions.
Monitoring and reporting on Internet advertising
CMR Interactive was formed in 1997 to monitor and report on advertising on
the Internet. Through its flagship product, InterWatch, it maintains a
comprehensive and consistent database of advertising on over 335 sites
including Yahoo! and Netscape, representing 80-90 per cent of all Internet
Commenting on the opportunities in this fast-growing market, Pierre Weill,
Taylor Nelson Sofres Managing Director, said, 'With the Internet advertising
industry forecast to grow dramatically, the demand for information on
Internet advertising expenditure should also grow at the same rate. As the
most established company in the industry, with the technology required to
capture data in this complex and diverse environment, CMR Interactive is
perfectly placed to take full advantage of this growth.
'Taylor Nelson Sofres is involved in a wide range of web measurement
activities, as well as using the Internet as a powerful data collection and
delivery tool. By combining our leading-edge web site ad monitoring product
AdNetTrack with CMR Interactive s highly developed expertise and technology,
we have a powerful service to market around the world through our global
For further information, please contact:
Tony Cowling, Executive Chairman +44 (0) 1372 803 403
Jean-Michel Portier, Media Monitoring sector head +33 (0) 1 30 74 81 81
Janis Parks, Investor Relations Manager +44 (0) 181 967 1584
Margaret George, Citigate Dewe Rogerson +44 (0) 171 638 9571
Notes to editors
Taylor Nelson Sofres
Through its international network of more than 150 offices in over 40
countries, Taylor Nelson Sofres provides market information services in over
80 countries to national and multi-national organisations. It is ranked as
the fourth largest market information group in the world.
CMR was formed in 1992 by combining 10 separate advertising tracking and
broadcast proof of performance companies across 14 media. Since then, it has
evolved from a data collection and printed reports company to an information
solutions company, providing advertising information across all media.
CMR's products serve the following market segments: advertising and agency
services, broadcast television networks and stations, syndicated television
services, cable television network services, radio services, consumer and
business-to-business magazines, newspapers and outdoor advertising.
By offering unique information and analysis of critical importance to
clients, CMR has cultivated a loyal customer base. Its client list includes
blue chip media, communications and fmcg companies such as Bloomberg, Conde
Nast, Coca-Cola, Financial Times, Grey Advertising, Interpublic Group, MCI
Corp and The New York Times.
More than 600 specialists gather data at state-of-the-art facilities in New
York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Missouri. After the data is collected, CMR
adds proprietary classifications to harmonise all data across various media
segments. It has developed a uniform brand classification system that is now
used throughout the industry to track individual brands across all media.
Currently the CMR database contains information on more than 750,000 brands.
The company has over 700 full-time employees.
CMR Interactive collects advertising information on the web at regular
intervals using automated 'crawler' applications that search throughout a
specified list of web sites. The data is combined with rate information on
the cost of advertising, producing analysis of expenditure by an advertiser
or advertising revenue generated on a web site. This information is primarily
used for competitive analysis by advertising agencies and can provide insight
from a brand, industry or web site perspective. The business combines
Internet data with CMR's traditional media data, to provide comprehensive
analyses of advertising expenditure. It is the only company in the market to
own historical data.
CMR Interactive's customer base is split between advertising
agencies/advertisers and new media companies, including BBDO, J. Walter
Thompson, Saatchi, America Online, DoubleClick, Times Warner and Yahoo!.