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Nielsen Corrals Product Placement Client

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.