Commentary

What's In A Name? Would A JIC By Any Other Name Spell As Litigious?

Okay, so we're no Shakespeare. But you probably already knew that. What you probably didn't know until yesterday is exactly what CIMM stood for. Come to think of it, you still may not know. We got the I-M-M part okay. Everyone agrees that stands for Innovative Media Measurement. After all, who could argue with that? It's the C-word that's got us scratching. No, not that C-word. The one at the front of the new joint industry thingamajig's name.

Initial reports referred to it as a "consortium."

Then we received a bunch of press releases distributed by the press department at CIMM member NBC Universal calling it a "council."

Finally, we got an invitation for a press briefing from the communications team at CIMM member Interpublic's Mediabrands calling it a "coalition." We suspect the Mediabrands one is correct, because it had a nifty graphic of CIMM's logo attached (see below), which does indeed use the world coalition?

Why all the confusion? We suspect it has to do with yet another C-word that has been CIMMering in the background of this initiative, but which no one wants to seem to utter in public. And that word, of course, is "committee."

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So why would an ordinarily benign word like committee, be so controversial in this case. CIMMple facts. The word committee is the way joint industry initiatives refer to themselves in other, overseas markets, where JICs (joint industry committees) like CIMM are common practice.

So why, you might ask, don't the CIMMians simply call it that over here? Well, you may recall a decade or so ago when Madison Avenue's Advertising Research Foundation first proposed organizing a JIC to bid out similar research proposals the lawyers at Nielsen CIMMply went apeshit and told them they'd sue them on federal antitrust grounds.

Confused? Yeah, well, we were too, but apparently the U.S. marketplace may be the only place in the world where an acknowledged monopoly could sue an entire industry on antitrust grounds for fueling, not inhibiting, competition. Go figure.

So maybe that's what the confusion surrounding CIMM's C-word is all about. Or maybe, it's just because the name was created by, well, committee. And you know how that goes.

cimm

1 comment about "What's In A Name? Would A JIC By Any Other Name Spell As Litigious?".
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  1. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, September 12, 2009 at 9:28 a.m.

    Welcome back The Riff and what a brilliant piece - you have been sorely missed. As clearly outlined by a Washington anti-trust expert at an ARF TV measurment symposium a few years ago, JICs when "appropriately" constituted and managed are actually not illegal in the US. CIMMple as that!!

    It is heartening that this vital initiative is recieving such powerful support.

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