ACNielsen Expands Category Business Planner Sales Reach Through Crossmark Alliance


More Companies Will Gain Access To Industry-Leading Category Management Intelligence System

Dallas, Texas, 9 July, 2002 -- ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU company, today announced that its state-of-the-art category management intelligence system, Category Business Planner (CBP), is being made available to more companies through an alliance with CROSSMARK, a leading sales and marketing agency serving clients in the consumer products industry. Under the agreement, CROSSMARK has adopted CBP as its category management system and is authorized to market CBP to potential clients on behalf of ACNielsen. The announcement was made here during CROSSMARK's Insights in Action executive seminar.

Jim Borders, president of CROSSMARK Sales Agency, said, "Category Business Planner is without question the preeminent category management system available to the consumer packaged goods industry. Our alliance with ACNielsen will enable many more companies to benefit from this powerful tool."

Tim Callahan, president, ACNielsen U.S., said, "Our alliance with CROSSMARK is a perfect fit. Category Business Planner is the technological intermediary between retailers and manufacturers, providing a common language that facilitates efficient category planning. That's the space where CROSSMARK works as well, so we're extremely pleased with CROSSMARK'S decision to adopt CBP as its category management system and to help make the system available to more companies."

Accessed through the ACNielsen Answers Internet portal, Category Business Planner is the only information tool in the consumer packaged goods industry that provides category and product sales information on a retailer-by-retailer basis. Organizing the information according to each retailer's custom definitions of product categories allows retailers and manufacturers to work much more effectively on category plans. Previously, the two sides often spent valuable planning time trying to determine whose category definitions were more accurate. Even different manufacturers within the same product category often worked from different definitions.

Also unique in the marketplace is CBP's capability to automatically turn information into an analysis that appears onscreen and provides key category performance indicators in the form of "news headlines." With this easy-to-use format, clients simply click on a headline for more details.

Retailers utilizing Category Business Planner to date include Meijer, SUPERVALU, Walgreens, Hannaford Bros., CVS, Eckerd, Longs Drug Stores, Winn-Dixie, Ahold USA, H-E-B, Giant Eagle, and Target.

About ACNielsen

ACNielsen, a VNU company, is the world's leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.

About CROSSMARK

CROSSMARK is a professional business services company providing integrated, performance-based solutions in sales, marketing, technology and consulting services. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, CROSSMARK employs more than 10,000 associates in offices throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

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Contacts:
ACNielsen
Matt Bell
+1 847 605 5686
mbell@acnielsen.com

Crossmark
Jeff Rice
+1 972 349 1349
Jeff.Rice@crossmark.com