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Yankelovich joins WPP and merges with Henley Centre HeadlightVision

9 January, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Wednesday 9 January, 2008 – Yankelovich Holdings, Inc. has signed a definitive merger agreement with WPP to merge with Henley Centre HeadlightVision, WPP's consumer trends and futures research and consultancy business and a unit of Kantar, WPP’s information, insight and consultancy division. The merger will become effective upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.

The aim of the merger is to offer clients a more comprehensive and global insight into consumer change and an ability to act on those insights. Yankelovich, the leading US consumer trends and lifestyle research business, will benefit from access to Henley Centre HeadlightVision’s global trends intelligence network and qualitative research expertise. In turn, Henley Centre HeadlightVision will be strengthened by Yankelovich’s US brand profile and client reach and leading expertise in trends research and segmentation analytics.

Yankelovich is renowned for the Yankelovich MONITOR®, the longest-running, most in-depth study of US consumer value and lifestyle trends. MONITOR predicts the forces shaping US consumer attitudes, values, lifestyles and behavior and identifies breakthrough marketplace opportunities. Two other divisions of Yankelovich, Insights Integration and The Segmentation Company, offer unique segmentation and database solutions to create actionable attitudinal and needs-based segmentations to drive marketing productivity.

Yankelovich and Henley Centre HeadlightVision will be integrated operationally under Sian Davies, currently CEO of Henley Centre HeadlightVision. J. Walker Smith will remain President of Yankelovich and Steve Bodhaine and Kevin Brown will continue in their roles as President, The Segmentation Company and EVP, Sales, respectively. The core vision and focus of the combined company will be global consumer trends and lifestyle insights and future-facing research and consultancy services to drive value from these insights.

According to Davies, "merging Henley Centre HeadlightVision with Yankelovich creates an unprecedented opportunity to offer consumer trends research and consultancy services on a truly global basis. We are seeing major shifts in consumer attitudes and lifestyles as BRIC and other fast growing economies expand, as health and wellbeing and environmental concerns gather pace globally, and as consumers use new media in innovative ways. The combined capabilities of Yankelovich and Henley Centre HeadlightVision will enable our clients to embrace the future and drive actionable insight and inspiration."

Yankelovich and Henley Centre HeadlightVision will have a combined staff of 145 researchers and consultants based in Chapel Hill, NC, New York, London, Delhi and Mumbai. Plans to expand into China are already underway. Their combined capability brings together extensive expertise across many industries, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, media and telecommunications, travel and leisure and the public sector, as well as leading edge practices in health, sustainability and multicultural marketing.

"As the consumer marketplace continues to mature and as brands search harder than ever for meaningful differentiation and consumer engagement, the biggest challenge is identifying what constitutes value worth paying for" says J. Walker Smith. "The study of trends shows marketers where emerging value is to be found and thus what to do in building equity and opportunities for their brands. By coming together, Yankelovich and Henley Centre HeadlightVision will become the global thought-leader in ideas and applications for identifying tomorrow's sources of value."


About Yankelovich

Yankelovich is a leading consumer market research and analytics company that has helped marketers understand consumer values and behavior since 1958. The company has studied consumer attitudes, values and lifestyles for 50 years, creating cutting-edge expertise and the largest database of US consumer attitudes and trends. The Yankelovich brand name is widely recognized by Fortune 1000 marketers as a leading source of consumer insights, particularly consumer trend data in the US. Yankelovich consumer segmentation research and consulting services provide deep consumer behavioral expertise to marketers as well as actionable data to employ in targeted marketing strategies.

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