The commissioning body of the confidential audit into Nielsen Media Research's controversial Local People Meters is baying for blood after the content of the report was leaked to the Los Angeles Times [WAMN:18-Jun-04].

The Media Rating Council has vowed to "vigorously investigate" how the newspaper laid its hands on the Ernst & Young audit, as the long-running saga of Nielsen's TV viewer measurement system takes another embarrassing turn. The guilty party -- if identified -- faces "appropriate and strong disciplinary action" that may include expulsion from the council.

Nielsen's response to the disclosure was a five-page report detailing its plans to overcome problems highlighted in the audit, notably the under-representation of ethnic minority TV viewers. The American Association of Advertising Agencies has requested Nielsen to correct the problems by July 31.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff