HEALTH

IRI becomes SymphonyIRI

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO Information Resources Inc. on Tuesday announced a name change — to SymphonyIRI Group — to better reflect all of the analytics available through SymphonyIRI.

“While we now have all of the capabilities to play a much broader role, the IRI brand name in some ways was confining,” explained SymphonyIRI Group president and CEO John Freeland. “The last two years has been about fortifying the required set of building blocks, defining a bolder vision and, most importantly, innovating new capabilities and executional competencies to place us center stage in addressing clients’ most important strategic issues. SymphonyIRI Group is more than a new name; we are revitalizing our core business, strengthening our emerging businesses and evolving our fundamental value proposition to more accurately reflect our broader, higher value orientation and focus—a transformation that both embraces and extends beyond the traditional market research space.”

Along with the name change, SymphonyIRI Group is also launching a family of solutions for predictive, automated analytics, technology platforms and strategic consulting services to deliver a dramatic step change in value. An important foundation of these new capabilities is the Advantage Solutions suite, built on the IRI Liquid Data platform, the company stated.SymphonyIRI made the announcement on the opening day of its “Summit 2010: Reinventing CPG and Retail Conference,” being held at the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country.

“The company has rapidly grown into the worldwide leader for creating innovative solutions to the continuously evolving needs of CPG, retail and healthcare companies,” added SymphonyIRI Group chairman Romesh Wadhwani.  “A unified SymphonyIRI Group enables our blue-chip clients to translate deep, highly-nuanced business insights into transformational strategies and actions for a markedly elevated level of impact across their entire organizations, including sales, marketing, merchandising, category/brand management and shopper marketing. This approach represents an entirely new plane of value creation and engagement with our clients to fundamentally help them achieve breakthrough performance and dramatically improved ROI.”

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Study: Selenium may cut men’s risk of diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A recent study published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, Nutrition and Metabolism, has shown that men with a higher concentration of selenium in their bodies are less likely to develop diabetes.

Tasnime Akbaraly, from the University of Montpellier, worked with a team of researchers to follow 1,162 healthy French men and women for nine years, monitoring plasma selenium concentrations and incidence of dysglycemia. Akbaraly said during the study period, 127 new cases of dysglycemia occurred, of which 70 were in men and 57 in women. She pointed out, however, that elderly men with high plasma selenium concentrations were “significantly associated with a lower risk of developing dysglycemia over the following nine years.”

“The reason we observed a protective effect of selenium in men but not in women is not completely clear, but might be attributed to women being healthier at baseline, having better antioxidant status in general and possible differences in how men and women process selenium,” Akbaraly said.

Selenium, a trace mineral that is an essential element in several metabolic pathways and is found in such foods as walnuts and various types of fish.

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Alison Sweeney becomes spokeswoman for Zyrtec product

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. “The Biggest Loser” and “Days of Our Lives” star Alison Sweeney will join McNeil Consumer Healthcare as the face of the new Zyrtec Liquid Gels, the company announced Friday.

Sweeney participated in a race in New York to officially welcome the first day of spring. The “Race Against Your Allergies” took place in New York City’s Madison Square Park.

“I’ve partnered with the makers of Zyrtec Liquid Gels as a fun way to kick off the season and show fellow allergy sufferers and lovers of the outdoors how we can outrun our allergy symptoms this year,” Sweeney said.

“We’re excited to be providing allergy sufferers with the opportunity to participate in a fun activity to welcome the first day of spring, while learning how to manage and relieve the everyday allergy symptoms the season can bring,” said Rohinish Hooda, VP marketing, upper respiratory for McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

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