MRC Code of Conduct Moves Forward

Oct 31, 2005  •  Post A Comment

George Ivie, executive director of The Media Rating Council, said late last week he expects to have by late December a final draft of a voluntary code of conduct to present to interested parties for a vote.

Mr. Ivie previously set a self-imposed vote deadline of Oct. 15.

In recent months Mr. Ivie has coordinated a complicated effort to reinforce the power of enforcement for his organization and to show the House and Senate that research companies such as Nielsen Media Research and their station, network and advertiser clients can figure out how to do business fairly without government intervention.

Measures were introduced earlier this year in both the Senate and the House that would firm up the MRC’s power of enforcement, which has been challenged in recent years. Industry agreement on the voluntary code, however, would make such legislation unnecessary, insiders said.

The MRC, made up of representatives from advertisers, broadcasters and cable networks, has the power to discipline members but cannot discipline measurement services, since they are not members.

Getting Nielsen and other research companies to sign off on the voluntary code would give the organization power to enforce the rules agreed upon in the code. The rules would apply to MRC members and the research companies.

By the end of this week Mr. Ivie expects to have comments from members and research companies that seek MRC accreditation of their products on the “near final” draft of the proposed voluntary code of conduct.

“I’ve asked for comments on deal breakers: ‘If there is any reason why your organization can’t sign this, then tell us,'” Mr. Ivie told TelevisionWeek last week.