LONDON: Diligence is a quality few would deny is possessed in large measure by WPP Group ceo Sir Martin Sorrell. It is also "the mother of good luck" according to the 16th century English proverb.

WPP won formal control of Taylor Nelson Sofres just a few days ago and fortuitously this also included the BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) contract for TV measurement in the UK, awarded to TNS in December 2007.

The lucrative contract to measure TV audiences for UK industry ratings body BARB, was won from AGB Nielsen, which has held it since 2002. The new contract commences in 2010 and will run for a minimum of six years.

TNS collected the lion's share of the BARB deal: meter panel installation, data retrieval plus processing and audience reporting functions; it will also handle recruitment and ongoing management of the new BARB viewing panel.

Other elements of the ratings project – survey design, quality control and calculation methodology have been handed to RSMB Television Research; while Ipsos MORI will operate BARB's Establishment Survey, from which it collects the characteristics of Britain's TV-owning population.

AGB Nielsen expressed its disappointment "that BARB does not share our vision for how our system will continue to deliver audience measurement for all forms of viewing across all platforms."

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff