A full house packed with a cross-section of the TV research and advertising industry is expected Jan. 31 at the daylong Accountability of Audience Measurement meeting convened by the Advertising Research Foundation in New York.
Executives from the chief inspiration for the conference-Nielsen Media Research, which came under fire from clients and communities as the monopoly’s new Local People Meter service rolled out last year-will be among the speakers and panelists. Representatives of companies offering alternatives to Nielsen, including the Joint Industry Committee model that is familiar in Europe, are also on the agenda.
The program starts with a discussion of the history of TV audience measurement in the United States. Leading off will be Gale Metzger, the former ARF chair who led the late-’90s attempt to start a competitor to Nielsen. John Dimling, who was Nielsen chairman at the time, will address the subject.
Nielsen Chief Research Officer Paul Donato is on the panel addressing “Accountability and `Natural Monopolies,”‘ along with representatives of Taylor Nelson Sofres and Arbitron, research companies that do not currently compete with Nielsen in the United States.
Scheduled to speak about auditing is George Ivie, executive director of the watchdog Media Rating Council. The MRC also has come under crossfire in the battle over LPMs, which critics charge are undercounting minority viewing and are fraught with high fault rates among some demographic groups.
The MRC on Jan. 21 extended the conditional accreditation it had granted Nielsen’s LPM service in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Based on the latest audits, Mr. Ivie said, there remain some problems, but “Nielsen is behaving in good faith to try to correct the issues.”