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Collective Expands Analytics Group, Hires Nielsen’s Evans

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Online analytics remains a hot area these days, with a number of companies in the space getting either acquired or funded. Display ad services provider Collective is going in a different direction as it seeks to build up its targeting muscle, namely by hiring Nielsen veteran Justin Evans to the new role of SVP for audience development. Evans left Nielsen a few weeks ago as SVP, advertising solutions, after three years with the audience ratings company. That was Evans’ second stint with Nielsen; he had held corporate development posts with the company since it went under the VNU banner in 2003. At Collective, Evans will oversee network relations, seek out new strategic partnerships and expand relationships with data, display and video research providers, including Nielsen.

At the Nielsen Company, Evans was credited with helping manage the effort to enter the $1.1 billion online ad targeting market, expanding their client base from five to 20 in one year, including portals, TV Networks and top 50 ad networks.

In a conversation with paidContent, Jerome FitzGibbons, an EVP for Collective, noted that one of the biggest problems advertisers and online publishers have is being able to intelligently sift through the surfeit of data that is at their fingertips. Aside from striking deals, Evans will assist the company in better configuring the ways it segments audiences and ad placement among demographic, psychographic and behavioral targeting.

“There are infinite ways to target users,” said FitzGibbons. “It