NEWS24 November 2009

DVR metric row heats up as Nielsen hits back at AAAA

North America Technology

US— Nielsen has hit back at the the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) over criticism of its plan to introduce a new ‘live plus same day’ audience measurement metric next year for local TV markets.

The AAAA attacked Nielsen last week over the firm’s decision to replace the traditional ‘live only’ metric with a new rating that covers TV shows recorded on DVRs and watched the same day.

Marc Goldman, chairman of the AAAA’s media policy committee, wrote to Nielsen expressing his “absolute displeasure and disappointment” over the decision, and accused the firm of “inserting itself into the buy/sell process”.

In response, Sara Erichson (pictured), Nielsen’s president of media client services in North America, said the firm “could not disagree more” with the accusations.

“The only side we have taken is one in favour of best depicting contemporary viewing behaviour.” Erichson said, “Given the growing penetration and usage of DVRs, we believe the research is undeniable in suggesting that live only ratings no longer offer an accurate picture of the television viewing that occurs on an individual day.”

She said that the decision to introduce the new rating as currency in local people meter markets was the result of five months’ worth of consultations with clients and that Nielsen has “absolutely no desire to be stuck in the middle between buyers and sellers as now seems the case”.

Erichson urged media buyers and sellers to work together “to determine what data set(s) they collectively need from Nielsen to transact business”, noting that there were no such conversations taking place at the moment.

The full letter is published at Television Business Report.

Meanwhile, a report in Mediaweek says the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has also written to Nielsen, urging the firm to keep the ‘live only’ rating as currency, as “many advertisers and agencies negotiate local market deals” using the metric.