The demise of AC Nielsen's NetRatings unit has been lamented by many in the online industry, however former managing director Brian Milnes is setting up his own business to fill the gap.
"We're in the process of putting something together that will replace [NetRatings] with a more cost-effective model," says Milnes, who was instrumental in setting up eRatings in New Zealand October 1999. ERatings is the company set up by AC Nielsen as a joint venture with NetRatings to push the NetRatings brand in markets outside the US.
In October 2001 NetRatings closed its New Zealand office with the loss of six jobs.
"I've been talking with the major publishers, the ISPs and the advertisers association. The industry desperately wants data on the total market. I think there are two things they see as being crucial to the process - one is having demographic data and the other is being able to integrate web data with other media information."
Milnes hopes to provide this kind of service, where an advertising agency will be able to receive information on how a campaign does across a number of media, including radio, TV and print as well as the internet.
Milnes hopes to run both a consumer-based user panel and a business panel, something NetRatings promised, but never delivered.
"The industry recognises that it needs this kind of data. It's very difficult for it to position itself in terms of advertising revenue and so on without that kind of information," says Milnes who hopes to have the company up and running in the coming months.
NetRatings pulled out of New Zealand following its purchase of rival Jupiter in a deal reportedly worth $US71 million. As part of the purchase, NetRatings has re-evaluated its position in a number of global markets, including New Zealand.