ACNielsen and Yahoo! are joining forces to investigate the effects of online ads on US offline shopping behaviour.

With the unwieldy title Yahoo! Consumer Direct Powered by ACNielsen, the new service is aimed at packaged goods marketers who want to know whether web advertising can boost sales of their products when such goods are rarely sold online.

The venture will study the purchasing habits of the members of Nielsen’s Homescan panel who use Yahoo! (around 15,000 from a total of over 61,000). Nielsen tracks what participants in Homescan buy, allowing Consumer Direct to compare these results with internet usage.

In a trial ‘beta program’, participants were split into two groups: one exposed to advertising on Yahoo!; the other not. Kraft Foods, Pepsi, Unilever and Purina agreed to participate, with one undisclosed firm seeing sales volume soar 20% among the group shown ads.

Hyped David Riemer, Yahoo!’s vp for marketing solutions: “[Consumer Direct clients] can see what's working and not working, but [also] which parts of their target audience responded better in terms of actually purchasing products based on the ads.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff