NetRatings buys European ad monitoring company

Internet audience measurement company NetRatings Inc. is boosting its European presence with the purchase of NetCrawling SA, which offers the LemonAd online advertising monitoring service, it announced Monday.

NetRatings, of New York, said it acquired the Paris-based company for an undisclosed sum. LemonAd, which will be rebranded Neilsen//NetRatings LemonAd, collects information about online advertisements in 11 European countries: the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, NetRatings said in a release.

The service provides campaign analysis for advertisers, plus a monthly overview of the online advertising market and insight into trends, NetRatings said. It will complement NetRatings' own NetView Internet Audience Measurement service, which is offered in eight European markets.

"The LemonAd product will be taken through as it is; they've bought it as an ongoing product and are adding it to their portfolio. In time they'll research and develop it more," Barney Farmer, commercial director of NetCrawling, said Monday.

It's uncertain at the moment whether the merger will involve any layoffs, Farmer said. In its release, NetRatings said only that it is "pleased to welcome a number of NetCrawling employees and clients into our organization."

NetRatings couldn't be reached early Monday for further comment.

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