Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group announced yet another acquisition today, with the purchase of National Research Group, from Nielsen. The cost of the acquisition remains undisclosed and further expands the company’s reach, immediately following last month’s acquisition of SKDKnickerbocker by Stagwell.
NRG is a major player in providing movie studios with market research about their releases. Today’s purchase grants Stagwell the ability to use that data.
Stagwell raised $250 Million Dollars in capital at the time of launch.
In explaining his motivations for starting the firm, Penn explains: “‘From finding soccer moms to uncovering Microtrends,‘I have always believed that data and creativity have to go together and that creative talent needs to be nurtured. We will be looking for investments that understand those principles.”
Mark Penn is the Managing Partner and President of Stagwell, building on his impressive 40 year career as a political strategist and key advisor to Bill Gates in the 90s. He also worked as the CEO of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller until 2012, and as president of the polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.
In a statement, Penn welcomed the acquisition with promise of growth:
“We are excited to welcome NRG into the Stagwell family of companies and as a market research practitioner for the last 40 years I’m particularly pleased to add these key capabilities,” said Penn. “NRG has been a global leader in Hollywood market research and we see product innovation as a key ingredient for success in a rapidly changing entertainment marketing landscape.”
National Research Group
National Research Group, conducts over one million tracking survey interviews annually across the 13 biggest movie markets. The marketing company researches products through movie screenings, focus groups, and other studies.
Catherine Paura and the late Joseph Farrell founded NRG in 1978 . They later sold the firm in 2003. In the interim, Howard Ballon heads the company as CEO as the transaction closes.