Walmart has pulled out of Nielsen's PRISM, an upcoming syndicated-data service that tracks in-store ads and merchandising. Last year, Walmart partially lifted its ban on sharing sales data in
order to participate in the test phase of the new initiative.
The pullout is a blow to Nielsen's effort to give shopper marketing a similar measurement system as other consumer
media. Walmart's packaged-goods sales equal more than half of the combined sales of other similar retailers. Walmart plans to incorporate its own shopper-marketing tracking service into the 2010
rollout of its Smart Network, an in-store TV network.
PRISM is still set to launch in 2009 with other major retailers including Target, Kmart and Walgreens. Some media observers worry that PRISM could result in more money shifting from media advertising to trade promotion, which could weaken brands to the benefit of retailers and private labels.