‘Pernicious’ Antitrust Laws Warp US TV Audience Research

26 June 2002

A keynote presenter at the recent TV audience measurement global conference in Cannes, slammed the “counter-productive and pernicious effects that the US anti-trust laws have upon this [audience measurement] market place – from which no-one seems to benefit, apart from the shareholders of the supplier”.

The salvo was fired during the Week of Audience Measurement jointly organized by the Advertising Research Foundation and ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research), at which a global customer satisfaction survey of TV audience measurement systems was unveiled.

The survey data, presented by independent research consultant Peter Meneer, was obtained from a sample of seventy-six “senior and well-informed” customers of ‘peoplemeter’ systems in twenty-three different nations.

Most of those who expressed themselves satisfied came from European countries where (JIC) Joint Industry Committee or MOC (Media Owned Contract) structures are in place.

But a far lower level of satisfaction was registered by data users from countries using OS (Own Service) systems; in particular customers of ACNielsen in the USA expressed low levels of satisfaction. These, Meneer commented, appear “to observers from other regions of the world … to have a number of limitations that most other developed TV markets resolved ten, fifteen, twenty years ago”.

ESOMAR has over four thousand members in 100 countries, both users and providers of research.

Data sourced from: ESOMAR; additional content by WARC staff