Nielsen Buys IAG Research

, looking to defend and expand its ratings franchise, is buying IAG Reasearch for $225 million in cash, according to the WSJ. IAG is the leading company measuring the effectiveness of ads; it works with both large advertisers and the TV networks to measure recall and the likability of advertising.

The closely-held company generates $35 million in annual revenue, and polls an online panel of 200,000 on, among other things, what ads they remember on TV from the night before. Nielsen expects the deal to close in the second quarter of 2008.

Last week’s most recalled ad? For Bush’s Baked Beans. Maybe it was the talking Golden Retriever.

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