The New York office of Publicis Groupe's media network ZenithOptimedia has signed a ground-breaking multiyear deal with Nielsen Media Research.

This not only involves new systems technology but is also the first tracking service to acknowledge and measure the surging growth of product placement as a promotional tool.

Neither the terms of the agreement nor its operational detail were released but the service will enable ZO to track and identify all brands that appear editorially in broadcast TV programming -- as opposed to commercials.

It is not without significance that the two protagonists are both European-owned multinational groups. ZO is the first major agency to sign-up to the Nielsen service. It is unlikely to be the last!

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff