Nielsen Corrals Product Placement Client

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Nielsen has signed the first major media buying client for its product placement tracking service.

ZenithOptimedia, one of the top five ad spenders worldwide, has signed a multiyear deal for the Web-based service. Launched earlier this year, the Place*Views service tracks brand occurrences on broadcast TV, including the when, where and "how big an audience" for product placements. It includes a database searchable by brand, advertiser, product, program, and network, and dating back to September 2003.

Advertisers are increasingly looking to quantify nontraditional advertising as viewer fragmentation, ad-busting technologies like TiVo and commercial clutter drive marketers to alternative ad platforms.

Nielsen is also testing a service to gauge the impact of in-game ads, like virtual signage, on TV sports watchers.