MRC Almost Finished Auditing Nielsen’s Commercial Ratings System

Sep 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The head of the Media Rating Council said he expects audits of The Nielsen Company’s commercial ratings system to be completed by the end of the year.
Speaking at a breakfast conference —Commercial Ratings: Measurement in Motion— in New York Wednesday, MRC executive director George Ivie said the MRC was evaluating Nielsen’s Commercial Media Information Tape, which carries ratings data to clients, its N-Power system, which allows clients to look at respondent-level data, and its Monitor-Plus service, which identifies commercials on networks.
He said the speed of the audits depends largely on the ability of Nielsen’s back office to provide the data the MRC needs.
The MRC has completed an audit of a commercial identification process by TNS Media Intelligence. The result of that audit needs to be discussed internally by the MRC.
Mr. Ivie said the demands of advertisers to move toward ratings of individual commercials has the industry and Nielsen in particular “changing faster and changing in more areas than ever before.”
Some believed the industry was moving to fast even if it was in the right direction.
The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau criticized the rush to commercial ratings, which were adopted without MRC accreditation for buying and selling ads in most of the upfront deals for the new TV season.
At the breakfast CAB president Sean Cunningham said the cable networks’ protests led Nielsen to making “twice the fixes in half the time.”
Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Turner Broadcasting, said he still has doubts.
“I don’t think any of us are confident the product is 100 percent fail safe,” he said. “The details are vexing and complex.”
But Nielsen senior VP for planning policy and analysis Patricia McDonough countered that “we do have confidence we will deliver the metrics the industry needs.”
The breakfast was presented by TelevisionWeek and the CAB.

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