US TV ratings arbiter Nielsen Media Research has finally bowed to intense pressure from all quarters [WAMN: 08-Jun-04] to review the way in which it selects consumer samples for its new Local People Meters.

These changes, fear many media-owners, politicians and ethnic pressure groups, will lead to under-counting of black and Hispanic viewers.

Responding to intervention earlier this week by the Advertising Research Foundation, Nielsen yesterday (Tuesday) named the members of an independent committee to evaluate the intended changes to its viewing measurement methodology. The committee will "convene as soon as it can".

Nielsen agreed in April it would set-up such a panel, but has since dragged its feet over the issue, declaring it would introduce the new LPMs in the metropolitan New York area with or without industry unanimity.

Five panel members are black, including chairwoman Cardiss Collins; four are Hispanic; two are white. Other members representing the ad and media industries are Robert L Barocci (president of the ARF), Byron E Lewis (chairman/ceo of the Uniworld Group, an agency specializing in campaigns aimed at black consumers), and Scott McDonald (svp for market research at Condé Nast Publications).

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