OPINION14 February 2012

Oprah risks the wrath of Nielsen

The latest celebrity faux pas on Twitter resulted in a clash between two American institutions – Oprah Winfrey and Nielsen.

Oh dear, Oprah Winfrey. The doyenne of American daytime TV recently tweeted her nine million followers urging them to watch her new show Oprah’s Next Chapter – “especially if they have a Nielsen box”. Winfrey later took down the offending tweet, at the request of the TV audience measurement firm, saying that she “intended no harm”.

But the ratings firm has already started examining the situation, as it takes seriously any attempt to influence panel homes to change their viewing habits. The firm said: “In accordance with our policies and procedures, Nielsen is reviewing this incident with our clients, and we may withhold, breakout and/or make a note in the ratings.”