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Mandel mans VNU media data unit

Company launches Niesen unit

VNU has hired media kingpin Jon Mandel to run new business unit NielsenConnect, pulling together information from all of VNU’s divisions into a data package for sale to its clients.

Mandel, whose previous two jobs were chief of strategic solutions for Group M and chairman of Group M’s MediaCom U.S., the giant media buyer, said his role at VNU is “connecting consumer information in ways that have never been attempted so our clients can spot trends.”

Nielsen Media Research will be the linchpin of this massive data package, which will draw on VNU divisions that collect information on TV viewing, moviegoing habits, book buying, video rentals and shopping-mall purchases, among other worldwide consumer patterns.

Based in New York, Mandel reports to David L. Calhoun, chairman-chief exec of VNU.

Mandel started his ad-agency career at Grey Advertising, helping to start its network TV buying group in 1977. When Grey joined MediaCom, Mandel added the title of chief negotiating officer of MediaCom to his post of senior VP and director of national broadcast for Grey.

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