U.S. News & World Report Announces a New Best Countries Platform

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U.S. News, Y&R and the Wharton School’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management to develop new Best Countries site for global leaders.

Washington, D.C. – Nov. 3, 2015 – U.S. News & World Report president and chief executive officer William D. Holiber today announced a new collaboration with Y&R and the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to create Best Countries, a new U.S. News site to serve engaged citizens, business leaders and policy makers from around the world.

The three global brands, each with distinct expertise in journalism, research, as well as consumer and market behavior, will unveil the new platform at the Davos World Economic Forum in January, 2016. A new Best Countries ranking – an evaluation of the world’s major countries, spanning such topics as economic development to health care, education, culture and social policies worldwide, will be drawn from a survey of 16,000 business leaders, influentials and citizens who rated over 60 countries on a wide range of criteria. The rankings will be enhanced on an ongoing basis with unique content, including op-eds from global thought leaders, data-driven articles and long-form features written by internationally-respected writers.

Brian Kelly, U.S. News editor and chief content officer, and Tim Smart, executive editor, are spearheading the editorial direction of the site. The market research is led by David Sable, global CEO of advertising giant Y&R, and John Gerzema, chairman and CEO of brand experts BAV Consulting, using analytic tools from Y&R’s proprietary BrandAsset Valuator, which is the world’s largest database of consumer perceptions of brands. David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School and one of the originators of the nations-as-brands concepts, is guiding the methodology.

“Each party brings a unique set of strengths that will allow us to create an exceptional product to serve a global audience,” said Holiber. “Over the past 30 years, U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Best Hospitals rankings and in-depth analysis have helped to improve higher education and health care. Our new Best Countries platform is not simply a global rating, it is an interactive resource for global thought leaders working in today’s open, social and interdependent world.”

“We are excited to join with U.S. News and the SEI Center at Wharton,” said Sable. “This is a unique collaboration that puts our resources and expertise together in a new way to help leaders in business and government better understand how their decisions shape the story of their nations.”

“We are delighted to team up with U.S. News and Y&R,” said Reibstein. “That nations are brands is something we have all known intuitively. The BAV data turns this understanding into a data-driven model that demonstrates the direct and indirect impact of nation brands on economies — and offers prescriptive measures for change. We are excited to be part of this ground-breaking project and to help nations and businesses leverage its findings.”

Media Contact: Sophia Sherry at ssherry@usnews.com, 202-955-2031.

About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a global digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, www.usnews.com provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. 30 million people visit www.usnews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

About Y&R
Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications agencies. Its partner companies include a full complement of some of the world’s most innovative marketing services companies: Y&R Advertising is one of the world’s most iconic agencies; VML, one of the world’s leading digital marketing agencies; Bravo, a pioneer in the field of Hispanic and multicultural communications; BAV and BAVC, Y&R’s renowned proprietary brand-management tool and database of consumer perceptions of brands, along with a consultancy driven by BAV data; iconmobile, a premier agency for creative solutions in mobile, as well as Labstore, one of the world’s largest and most entrepreneurial shopper and retail marketing networks.

About the Wharton School’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
The SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is among the world’s first “think tanks” for management education. The Wharton SEI Center ensures the relevance of management research and teaching to the evolving needs of business and society in the 21st century by joining with global thought leaders in diverse fields to anticipate the needs of management, identify forces of change and understand emerging management paradigms. The SEI Center engages in workshops, conferences, and lectures involving senior executives, academic leaders, and students to develop research and educational initiatives to meet the future needs of management.