Nielsen//NetRatings, the global standard in Internet audience measurement and analysis, today launches The Automotive e-Lifestyle Report, a unique new approach to online market research. By surveying and measuring the behaviour of over 80,000 households on our MegaPanels in the UK, France and Germany, the car brand preferences of over 20 makes of vehicle can be related directly to their owners’ choice of websites and online behaviour for the first time.

The tables below indicate the top ten sites by affinity of owners of four of the UK’s most popular car brands. In some cases they show that it is the car-makers own website that tops their choice, but the influence spreads to all choice of content.

Ford owners prefer travel and finance sites, though interestingly one of their highest affinity sites is Vauxhall owners choose sites closely related to the automotive sector, including the Direct Line insurance site, Halfords and, the General Motors platinum card. BMW owners have the closest affinity with travel sites, with 70% of the sites in their top ten being flight and holiday sites. Fiat owners choices are focused on home making, including three estate agency sites, the DIY store B&Q, and in their portfolio of surfing.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Top Twelve websites by affinity for UK owners of Ford, BMW and Fiat vehicles
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Automotive e-Lifestyle Report, Sept 2003
Survey based on 80,000 households in Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanels in UK, Fr, De

The research has been designed to support brand marketers and online media buyers and sellers. Brand owners need this research to understand how their customers behave online, and how they may be able to target them more effectively. Planners and buyers will use this research to ensure that they develop and execute the most effective online campaigns for their automotive clients. Media owners will use this research to showcase their media brands to prospective automotive advertisers. Crucially, it indicates that a driver’s car brand choice can be used to determine the way they will behave on the world wide web, and on the High Street.

David Day, SVP of the International Division of Nielsen//NetRatings said “This approach is not about planning advertising and making business decisions based purely on the volume of hits or high audience numbers, but about the affinity different consumers have with particular brands. What these profiles indicate is that car brand ownership correlates closely with people’s lifestyle choices, which in turn influences their online behaviour. For the strategic planner or marketer, using this data will provide a list of websites companies may have never considered for advertising or promotional activity. For instance, BMW might investigate linking up with a travel site, Vauxhall with Halfords, Ford with the Kennel Club and Fiat with a site primarily targeting women, such as”

The research also shows which of our Megapanelists have subscribed to receive regular newsletters from a range of companies and how much online marketing activity they are exposed to. For the first time, Nielsen//NetRatings can reveal which online newsletters and incentive schemes are most popular with consumers.,,, and all score highly amongst the car owners in this research.
Newsletters received by UK owners of Ford, Vauxhall, BMW & Fiat
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Automotive eLifestyle Report Sept 2003

“If you are a car brand owner, you can see that your customers are being bombarded with brand marketing, newsletters, competitions, incentives and reward schemes from a whole range of companies. What is interesting is that there appear to be very few automotive initiatives like this, yet car drivers are clearly interested in receiving relevant information, and are responding to special offers” commented Day.

MegaPanels are online panels of 30,000 households each in the UK and France, and almost 20,000 households in Germany, representing over a quarter of a million people in these three key European markets. The e-Lifestyle concept covers a number of vertical markets, including automotive, finance, e-commerce and travel. They are available quarterly by subscription only.


Please source all information to Nielsen//NetRatings
For more information, please contact:
Lucy Green, International Marketing and Communications Director
Tel: 01865 732388 Mobile: 07734 126750: E-mail:

For more information about MegaPanels and e-Lifestyle reports, please contact David Day at Nielsen//NetRatings: + 44 1865 732666

About Nielsen//NetRatings
Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis. Covering 70% of the world’s Internet usage, the Nielsen//NetRatings services offer syndicated Internet and digital media research reports and customised data to help companies gain valuable insight into their business. For more information, please visit

About NetRatings, Inc.
NetRatings, Inc., (Nasdaq: NTRT) is the provider of the Nielsen//NetRatings services, which set the global standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis. Nielsen//NetRatings enables its customers to make informed business-critical decisions regarding their Internet strategies with its technology driven products and services, which include the Nielsen//NetRatings NetView Internet audience measurement service, WebRF, an Internet reach and frequency planning tool, LemonAd online advertising intelligence and custom data, research and analysis. In addition, AdRelevance online advertising intelligence and @Plan Web user lifestyle, demographic and product brand preferences data are available in the US. For more information, please visit

Published on: 12:00AM on 17th December 2003