Nielsen Urged to Await LPM Approval Before Further Launches

18 June 2004

Fuelling the ever-growing bonfire of opposition against Nielsen Media Research's Local People Meters, comes the voice of the National Association of Broadcasters' TV board of directors.

The NAB adds its voice to the uproar surrounding the controversial sampling system, said to under-represent black and Hispanic TV viewers. It requests that Nielsen awaits approval from the Media Rating Council before launching LPMs in more cities across America [WAMN: 11-Jun-04].

Nielsen has already angered its critics by proceeding with the New York launch on June 3, for which the MRC commissioned an audit by Ernst & Young. Although supposedly confidential, snippets of the audit have fallen into the hands of the Los Angeles Times, which reports that blacks and Hispanic viewers are indeed classified incorrectly using LPMs.

Unsurprisingly, Nielsen expressed disappointment at the "information taken out of context [that] leads to misunderstandings in the marketplace", adding that it had already "re-contacted and double-checked misidentified households" in a bid to appease the MRC.

Despite the lawsuit filed against Nielsen by Univision Communications in Los Angeles and the imminent arrival of a formal request from the NAB TV Board to bide its time, Nielsen's stance remains firm. It still plans to keep the launch dates for LPMs in Los Angeles on July 8, Chicago on August 5 and San Francisco on October 7.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff