Friday, January 02, 2009

Walmart decides not to continue with PRISM media measurement

From the "surprise, surprise" department...

Walmart has concluded that, while Nielsen's initial run of PRISM measurements were useful enough to generate some customer insights, they won't be continuing with the program in 2009. As AdAge reports:
"Walmart was pleased with the insights they gleaned" from the PRISM pilot but decided not to participate in the national syndicated service "consistent with their internal data-sharing policies." To participate in the pilot, Walmart last year partially lifted a ban that had been in place since 2001 on sharing sales data with syndicators such as Nielsen and Information Resources Inc.
Other major backers of the research effort, including Target, Kroger, P&G, Unilever and Kraft, are still planning to push the service in the coming year, but Walmart accounts for a large portion of overall shopping dollars, so having them out of the research pool isn't going to be good news for anybody hoping to purchase Nielsen PRISM data to get a better idea for what's going on inside of the retail giant.

In addition to being compliant with Walmart's own regulations about sharing data with syndicators like Nielsen, continuing with PRISM probably would have meant duplicating some work between that effort and their own in-store measurement practices, which are slated to use DS-IQ as part of their new Walmart Smart network of digital signs.

At this point, I wonder whether Walmart never really intended to go forward with PRISM, but was merely using that program as a way to verify that their own DS-IQ data was accurate. I bet Nielsen made them a good deal in order to get them on board in the first place, so for Walmart it would have been a relatively low-cost way of getting a top-notch research firm to qualify their competing offering.

Pretty sneaky, eh?

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