TNS Links Units to Integrate Cross-Media Brand Measurement

TNS is combining several of its operating groups into a single division in a bid to provide customers with a snapshot of brand performance across multiple platforms.

The new unit, called TNS Media, combines TNS Media Intelligence and TNS Media Research with recently acquired companies Compete and Cymfony. Dean DeBiase will head the new unit as CEO.

The new group “is set to expand our digital measurement capabilities and provide a single platform to deliver our services globally throughout the TNS network of companies and partners,” said David Lowden, CEO of TNS.

TNS Media Intelligence tracks advertising expenditures and brand impressions, while TNS Media Research measures audiences across TV, Internet and radio. Cymfony and Compete both measure and analyze Internet activity, particularly social media, with an eye toward helping brands keep track of their public perception.

TNS acquired Boston-based Compete last week for $75 million in cash and future payments based on performance. That deal came almost exactly a year after it acquired Cymfony for an undisclosed sum.

By bringing all four under a single umbrella, TNS is acknowledging the increasing emphasis its customers are placing on the ability to track brand impressions across all media simultaneously. In an age when Internet advertising expenditures are on the rise, often at the expense of traditional media like TV or radio, the onus is on measurement groups like TNS to provide new, more comprehensive methods of cross-platform measurement.

“The question was, ‘How can we better market TNS’s services and better help marketers, agencies and media partners with better services and tools?'” said DeBiase. “We need to do a better job dominating the U.S., and, quite frankly, leveraging the assets we have to expand this thing globally through the TNS network of companies.”

DeBiase was formerly chairman and CEO of Fathom Online, a search marketing firm, as well as the founder of several digital startups later acquired by companies such as AOL. As head of the new unit, he is charged with expanding TNS’s digital strategy through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth.

DeBiase will be looking to develop or acquire “the next generation of tools and insights” with a three-fold strategy for growth,” he said. “First is leveraging what we have, second is looking for strategic acquisitions, and the third is targeted partnering by industry sector,” he said.

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