Nielsen Fields Client 'Satisfaction' Survey Amid TV Ratings Meltdown

In the research business, timing can be everything. That's something media and marketing research giant Nielsen Co. may learn first hand as it begins fielding a new "satisfaction study" of its clients. The survey, which was sent to Nielsen clients Wednesday night, comes amid one of the worst meltdowns ever in Nielsen's national TV ratings processing and delivery systems, and a fair amount of client outrage over the snafu.

In fact, a letter from Nielsen President-Global Media Client Services inviting customers to participate in the survey was sent four hours after Nielsen Executive Vice President-Global Business Services Mitchell Habib sent a letter outlining the magnitude and cause of the TV ratings debacle (MediaDailyNews May 7).

"It is The Nielsen Company's goal to provide our clients with the highest levels of quality in all areas of our business. In order to do this, it is important that we receive frank and candid feedback about our data, products and services," Nielsen's Thomas writes in the letter inviting customers to take the survey, which is due to be completed by May 22. "As a valued Nielsen client, I am inviting you to complete a client satisfaction survey; your responses will become an essential part of our business planning and will be used to identify strengths and address areas of improvement to better serve you in the future."



It was unclear whether Nielsen plans to share the results of the survey publicly or with its clients, or whether it will just use it for internal purposes, but Thomas said it was being conducted under the "Market Research Code of Conduct," and that the answers of respondents would be considered anonymous unless they agree to share their identity with Nielsen.

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