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RI Merged into TNS

February 23 2009

The Kantar Group is streamlining its businesses after buying TNS. The TNS Custom business will merge with Research International and will be generally known as TNS. A new social research force for the UK is established in TNS-BMRB, while Kantar has four new vertical sector operating units: Media, Health, Retail and Worldpanel.

Pedro Ros and Bob Meyers head up the new TNSThe group bought TNS in October 2008, since when speculation about consolidation of WPP’s crowded stable of major research firms has been widespread.

The new TNS, the world’s largest custom research company, will be led by Bob Meyers as Chairman and Pedro Ros as CEO. Reflecting local brand strengths, the name TNS Research International will be used in some markets, while in others the firm says TNS will ‘maintain its heritage brands’.

Meyers, former RI CEO, comments: ‘We are extremely excited to be joining forces with TNS. I truly believe that our new business will be the most dynamic and innovative custom research business in the world today’, adding: ‘we are in a very strong position to shape the future of the market research industry’. The group says re-branding will ‘take place over time’.

TNS CEO Pedro Ros comments: ‘At TNS our clients are at the forefront of everything we do and it is our mission not only to deliver the best service possible, but to challenge and innovate around their evolving business needs. By combining strengths and resources with Research International, we are in an even greater position to do this and we can look to a bright future.’

Kantar says the merged TNS and RI business will be ‘the number one or number two market research company in almost every country’.

BMRB’s social research team joins social and polling teams within TNS to form what the group calls ‘the strongest network of social, governmental, polling capabilities in the world’. In the UK the business will be branded as TNS-BMRB.

The four new Kantar units each combine a number of existing operations. Kantar Media brings together the skills of TNS Media Intelligence, TNS Media Research, KMR and TGI, and will itself consist of four main operations: Kantar Media Intelligence, Kantar Audience Measurement (formerly Media Research), TGI Global (including other single source services) and an integrated company covering all disciplines in the US market. The new company will ‘reference TNS in its branding’. The enlarged unit boasts a leading global position in areas including audience measurement, advertising expenditure tracking, software and news monitoring, and will provide a focus for the group’s work with behavioural data from new technologies.

Kantar Healthcare combines TNS Healthcare, the Ziment Group, Consumer Health Services, imap and MattsonJack, with a strong global footprint. Kantar Retail adds newly acquired Red Dot to Glendinning, Cannondale, Management Ventures Inc. and Retail Forward, and will focus on deepening and rolling out digitally delivered intelligence on retailers, extending shopper insights and consulting capability, including consulting and Red Dot’s virtual reality platforms.

Kantar Worldpanel is the new name for the TNS Worldpanel business, and will remain a stand-alone organisation within the Group, with links to IMRB’s panel in India and a strong position in the emerging markets of China, India, Mexico, and Brazil.

Kantar CEO Eric Salama says the far-reaching re-organisation is ‘all about clients’. He comments: ‘It’s about how we help clients access the best talents and capabilities we have, when and where they need it. And it’s about a structure which enables us to innovate and roll out offers which are relevant to contemporary client needs.’

Web sites: www.tnsglobal.com , www.research-int.com and www.kantargrouptns.com .

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