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Nielsen and Massive link to track videogame advertising

LONDON - Television ratings company Nielsen Entertainment and ad tracking firm Massive have unveiled plans to track advertising on videogames.

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The companies aim to measure and validate the data Massive gathers from games on the Massive Network with a view to releasing information for media buyers next year.

The companies say they see their venture as "another critical advance in the validation of videogames as an effective and viable advertising mechanism".

Michael Dowling, general manager of Nielsen Interactive Entertainment, said: "There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that, to young people, videogames are an essential part of their cultural fabric. As such, videogames are fast developing into a real and powerful tool to authentically reach this highly sought after demographic."

Those in the industry say that video games represent an ideal and as-yet-untapped way to reach 18- to 34-year-old males, who form the core of online gaming. Until now, advertisers have relied on fixed placements in individual game titles with limited ability to tune or time their ads according to broad campaign needs and objectives.

Mitch Davis, CEO of Massive, said: "Videogames have become a major component of our media environment, every bit as vital as television."

The Massive Network, a PC gaming network that includes such games as 'Half-Life 2', guarantees delivery and measurement of advertising in either 15- or 30-second spot exposures. As with television, advertisers can buy across the network or segment specifically to reach their desired consumer.

The two companies will together over the next few months to define essential standards for in-game advertising that can be used in agency media planning, similar to the way TV ratings are currently used.

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