Co. reorganizes movie market research biz

The Nielsen Co. is reorganizing its movie market research biz.

Company has folded its NRG division into Bases, a Covington, Ky.-based company that provides research to packaged food companies as well as clients in the pharmaceutical, alcohol and fast-food restaurant sectors.

In a separate move, it’s tapped Marc Lagrois to run NRG, replacing Howard Ballon, prexy of Nielsen Film and Home Entertainment, who is ankling to “pursue other opportunities.”

Lagrois has served as senior VP of product and business development for NRG since joining the company last year. Before that, he oversaw Bases’ activities in the Asia-Pacific region for five years.

Lagrois, who is based in Los Angeles, reports to Tim Willke, global prexy of Bases.

The company stressed that the changes won’t affect the NRG moniker or its offerings to studios, which include testing ads and trailers and evaluating marketing messages for movie and DVD releases.

It will continue to work closely with other Nielsen Entertainment group companies, including EDI, TV/CPG and VideoScan.

A.C. Nielsen acquired the privately held Bases Group in 1998 and has been expanding the company’s offerings to clients over the years.

Lagrois said the integration into Bases will enable NRG to “access some new tools and services” as it tries to compete with rivals such as MarketCast, which is owned by Daily Variety parent Reed Business. That includes using Bases’ simulation services to gauge the impact of changes to marketing programs or whether certain media spending would help get auds interested in a pic’s release, for example.

NRG is also expected to take advantage of Nielsen’s acquisition of IAG Research, which tracks viewers’ recall of commercials and promos, once that deal closes.

“We’re just building on what we currently have,” Lagrois said. “All of our capabilities and services are still available. We’re not changing who we are as a company within this industry.”

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