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Nielsen Agrees to Implement Task Force Recommendations

Mar 23, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday it is committed to implementing many of the recommendations of a task force created last year to examine the issue of undercounting of minorities in television ratings.

The findings and recommendations of the task force, made public Wednesday by Nielsen, cap an eight-month examination of how effectively Nielsen captures the viewing habits of people of color. The Independent Task Force on Television Measurement was created in April 2004 as a compromise between Nielsen and U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., amid worry that Nielsen’s implementation of Local People Meters was causing inaccurate measurement of minorities.

Many of the task force’s recommendations focus on six areas: LPM sampling, field operations, fault rates, diversity efforts, communications, and research and development.

Among the recommendations are that Nielsen oversample people of color in all LPM markets and collect individual characteristics on household members, including the race and language of each individual in a sample household.

The task force also suggested that Nielsen beef up its multilingual efforts by ensuring that all recruitment materials be translated into Spanish and the main Asian languages, and have the flexibility to translate into other languages as needed. The task force also made suggestions on how to improve cultural sensitivity among Nielsen’s representatives.

As means to reduce fault rates, Nielsen said it will heed the task force’s recommendation to have an independent investigation conducted on the impact of fault rates and implement one-on-one training for individuals in households that have a high risk for faulting.

In addition, the task force suggested Nielsen bolster diversity efforts in the audience sample as well as within Nielsen; improve how Nielsen communicates its messages both within and outside its organization; and use private and public money to set up an independent research institute that ensures the television industry has greater input into how ratings research is conducted.