Nielsen Offers Meter Compromise

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Nielsen Media Research came up with an 11th-hour compromise Tuesday in an attempt to appease groups opposing the launch of the New York "Local People Meter."  They didn't sound appeased.

Nielsen said it would go forward with the New York LPM on Thursday as planned, but that the old system would remain in place for three more months. Both services may be used for buying and selling ad time, Nielsen said.

Meanwhile, all the concerned parties will have three more months to compare both sets of data. Shortly before Nielsen revealed its new plan, the Fox-backed Don't Count Us Out Coalition said it was launching a new print campaign against Nielsen Media Research and its decision to go forward with the LPM in New York on Thursday, June 3.

The coalition said the campaign would include print ads in  Los Angeles and Chicago, where Nielsen says it will launch the LPM later this year. Ads will also run in Washington, where Fox has lobbied hard to get politicians to investigate the ratings company.

"What will it take for Nielsen to hear us," the latest ad asks, noting that demands from local and state politicians in the three markets as well as a number of U.S. Senators and congressman to delay the new ratings service have gone unheeded by Nielsen.

The ad also notes that Univision has separate issues with the service (younger Hispanics under-represented in the New York LPM household sample) and that the Media Rating Council has so far not accredited the New York service. Nielsen says it will work with the MRC to address its issues, noting that it took a year after the Boston LPM was up and running before the MRC accredited that service.

Univision says it is pro-LPM in theory, as does the MRC, and may eventually back the New York LPM, but only if and when Nielsen corrects the sample. It wasn’t happy with the announcement, however, saying the side-by-side ratings “will confuse advertisers and the public, waste time and money with duplicative and conflicting data, and debase the value of Nielsen research.”

The Coalition's response to the compromise: "Inadequate, arrogant and unacceptable."

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