Nielsen Stands Its Ground Amidst Local Metric Controversy

Despite pressure from the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers to reverse its decision to replace live-only ratings with live-plus-same-day, Nielsen is so far holding firm. In a Nov. 20 letter to Marc Goldstein, chairman of the 4As Media Policy Committee and president and CEO of GroupM, Sara Erichson, president of media client services for Nielsen, argued that the decision is the best course for “depicting contemporary viewing behavior.”<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Nielsen recently announced plans to swap out live-only ratings for live-plus-same-day in local meter markets, effectively changing the currency used for planning and buying local TV. While the decision pleased broadcasters, it set off a firestorm from the nation’s largest buying shops. Both the 4As and the ANA have asked Nielsen to reinstate live-only ratings.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Nielsen’s Erichson said the decision was not made in a vacuum. “Over the past five months, we have listened hard and extensively to all our clients, both buyers and sellers, and believe that we have a very clear understanding of both sides’ points of view…As you know, this sometimes requires tough choices.”<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Throwing the ball back to its clients to work it out, Nielsen also stressed that it doesn’t want to be stuck in the middle of the controversy between buyers and sellers.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> “We urge buyers and sellers to work together to determine what data set[s] they collectively need from Nielsen to transact business, mindful of the changed viewing environment which has impacted audiences associated with traditional measurement,” Erichson wrote. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Keeping the door open only a crack, Nielsen reiterated its commitment to continue the discussion, suggesting it is “open to suggestions that find common ground between buyers and sellers.”<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <i>Sales & Marketing Management is a unit of the Nielsen Co.</i><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <a href="" target="_blank">&#x2014; Nielsen Business Media</a>