VNU Brings Together BuzzMetrics, Intelliseek to Create Nielsen BuzzMetrics Service

VNU to be majority shareholder in new company, which becomes the measurement

standard in consumer-generated media

Nielsen BuzzMetrics to provide unprecedented intelligence on how online

consumer dialogue impacts business and brand performance

Jan 17, 2006, 00:00 ET from Intelliseek

    NEW YORK, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek - two
 leaders in the tracking and analysis of online consumer-generated media -
 today announced an agreement in principle under which BuzzMetrics will acquire
 Intelliseek to create the new global standard for measuring and understanding
 word-of-mouth behavior and influence.
     Both BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek are the recognized leaders in helping
 Fortune 1,000 companies listen to, measure and act upon the consumer dialogue
 affecting their markets. The firms' powerful technologies mine publicly
 archived online sources including blogs and discussion forums to collect and
 transform large volumes of unaided conversations into actionable consumer
     Upon closing of the acquisition, the combined company, BuzzMetrics, Inc.,
 will operate under the "Nielsen BuzzMetrics" brand and be headquartered in New
 York. Backed by VNU, the Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will bring together the
 advanced technologies and client relationships of Intelliseek, developed over
 the past nine years, with the linguistic technologies and client-service
 expertise of BuzzMetrics.
     The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will fully leverage the strategic and
 financial backing of VNU, parent to such renowned research names as ACNielsen
 and Nielsen Media Research. VNU will become a majority shareholder in the new
 BuzzMetrics with 50.1 percent ownership.
     New Way to Measure and Analyze
     The deal marks the third in a series of word-of-mouth research investments
 supported by VNU. In February 2005, VNU acquired an equity interest in
 Israeli-based Trendum, a leader in media and linguistic analysis technologies.
 In September 2005, Trendum acquired BuzzMetrics, and the new company adopted
 the BuzzMetrics name.
     Consumer-generated media (CGM) - a term created by Intelliseek - describes
 a variety of new influential sources of online content, including blogs,
 public message boards, product feedback sites and direct company feedback. The
 Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that nearly half of adult
 Internet users use the Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others,
 post pictures, share files and otherwise contribute to the explosion of
 content available online.
     "The combination of these companies will result in a world-class
 organization with well over 100 Fortune 1000 clients, more than 100 employees
 and offices in New York, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Israel," said Itzhak
 Fisher, chairman of BuzzMetrics, who will remain chairman with the new
 company. "The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will set a new standard in helping
 executives strategically leverage the buzz surrounding their brands and
 compete more effectively in today's rapidly changing world of consumer
     "The expansion of our measurement experience and leadership into consumer-
 generated media is an important evolution for VNU at a time when marketers are
 struggling to fully understand the consequences of consumer control," said
 Susan Whiting, president and CEO, Nielsen Media Research, and executive vice
 president, VNU Media Measurement & Information group. "With the emergence of
 these new consumer-generated media, the addition of the Nielsen BuzzMetrics
 service to our market-leading audience measurement services will enable us to
 better understand what consumers say, spread and share, in addition to what
 they watch, listen to and read."
     "In a highly complex, fast-changing marketplace, consumer packaged goods
 manufacturers and retailers are focused more intently than ever on creating
 marketing programs that deliver a real return on investment," said Steven M.
 Schmidt, president and CEO, VNU Marketing Information group and ACNielsen.
 "The key is understanding all of the factors that influence consumer
 purchasing, including word-of-mouth dialogue among consumers. Nielsen
 BuzzMetrics will give VNU a new way to measure and analyze this increasingly
 powerful force in consumer decision-making."
     Impressive Client Roster
     The combined firm will have a client roster spanning nearly every key
 industry, with deep focus in media and entertainment, automotive, consumer
 technology, healthcare and consumer-packaged goods. Key clients include:
 Canon, Comcast, Ford, General Motors, HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, P&G,
 Showtime, Sony, Target and Toyota. Others include 14 of the top 15
 pharmaceutical companies and over eight television networks.
     "The combined company will leverage Intelliseek and BuzzMetrics' extensive
 technologies and methodologies, as well as research, sales and marketing
 teams," said Jonathan Carson, who will serve as CEO of the new BuzzMetrics.
 "VNU's financial and strategic support of the new company validates CGM and
 word of mouth, and puts research in this burgeoning area on par with other
 traditional media and marketing measurement."
     "We know from experience that marketers are using CGM to make better,
 smarter, and more profitable business decisions, from marketing effectiveness
 to crisis management," said Mike Nazzaro, president and CEO of Intelliseek,
 who will become president and COO of the new BuzzMetrics. "This deal will help
 us scale much more quickly, leverage the experience and expertise of Nielsen,
 and expand our client insights, analysis and recommendations."
     "Our combined management team has done and will continue to do an
 outstanding job building and growing this business," said Mahendra Vora,
 founder and chairman of Intelliseek and a board member of the new company.
 "This is an exciting next phase for Intelliseek."
     The new combined company will build on its leading search and text-based
 analytics to help marketers develop more effective marketing strategies, gain
 new consumer insights, and enhance their relationship marketing and corporate
 reputation. The new company also will continue its research and development
 activities to measure the next generation of media technologies by which
 consumers create and share information, including audio and video.
     The new company will continue to enhance, one of the Web's
 top blog portals. mines over 20 million blogs every day, adding
 approximately 50,000 new blogs to its index each day.
     Intelliseek is a venture-backed company, and investors Blue Chip, Blue Run
 and River Cities Capital Funds will be shareholders in the new company.
     Note To Editors and Bloggers: Live Audio Discussion
     Listen to a live audio discussion at 1PM EST today with the new executive
 management of BuzzMetrics. Visit for details and
     About The New BuzzMetrics
     BuzzMetrics, through its Nielsen BuzzMetrics service, is the global
 standard in measuring consumer-generated media and word of mouth. Nielsen
 BuzzMetrics helps more than 100 leading global companies strategically
 leverage the buzz surrounding them - clients like Canon, Comcast, Ford,
 General Motors, HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, P&G, Sony, Target and Toyota, as
 well as 14 of the top 15 pharmaceutical concerns. Partners include the world's
 largest marketing-services firms, and distinguished think tanks such as the
 Pew Research Center. BuzzMetrics is a unit of VNU, owner of such renowned
 research names as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research. For more information,

SOURCE Intelliseek