Barbara Hohbach
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Jill E. Posnick
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May 22, 2006
Accenture Launches Media Audit and Optimization Service to Help U.S. Companies Measure Return on Investment in Advertising

Ford and Wal-Mart sign up as pioneer clients of marketing service designed to revolutionize American advertisers’ approach to media buying

NEW YORK; May 22, 2006 – Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has launched a new media audit and optimization service in the United States designed to help companies increase their return on investment in advertising by revolutionizing the way U.S. media buys are made and evaluated.

More than a dozen companies — including Ford and Wal-Mart — have signed up as pioneering subscribers to the new U.S. marketing and advertising service. Combined, these companies represent about 15 percent of the $45 billion national TV advertising market in the United States.

Previously available only in Europe, the media audit and optimization service, offered by Accenture’s Marketing Sciences practice, collects advertising data from companies that subscribe to the service, which tend to be among the largest advertisers. The data are then aggregated and analyzed to give subscribers a benchmark against which they can compare media-buy pricing.

Additionally, Accenture analyzes the media buying data to help the pool’s subscribers evaluate whether their advertising buys are going to the right channels and have the correct positioning for their target audiences.

"Large advertisers expect placement quality and prices that reflect economies of scale, and pooling identifies tangible areas for continuous improvement in an increasingly complex market," said Jeffrey Merrihue, CEO of Accenture Marketing Sciences. "Our new service demystifies the business of advertising by giving our media pool subscribers the data they need to better understand the value they get for the dollars they spend."

"Accenture’s new media auditing service is playing a key role in helping us assess our marketing programs," said Murat Yalman, executive director, marketing services at Ford Motor Company. "The service allows us to track not only whether an advertisement reached the target audience but also whether that media buy was made at a competitive price."

Barry Moehring, vice president of marketing operations at Wal-Mart, said, "Accenture’s media auditing service provides us, for the first time ever, with actionable insight for up-front TV negotiations."

Since media auditing was introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, advertising pricing has become far more transparent and competitive, enabling advertisers to understand the quality of the programming achieved and the value of the price paid. Research has shown that the range of pricing in the United Kingdom is half that of the United States, with audited clients in the United Kingdom paying 15-20 percent less than those in the United States for comparable budget sizes.

Accenture’s media audit service combines the technical media evaluation capabilities that Accenture obtained through its recent acquisition of Media Audits with the company’s existing Marketing Sciences practice. Accenture’s Marketing Sciences practice now has more than 250 professionals providing services related to the measurement, evaluation and optimization of marketing and media investments to more than 400 clients throughout Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. More information about Accenture Marketing Sciences can be found at www.accenture.com/ams.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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