Major Ad Groups Endorse Live-Only Ratings, Reject Nielsen Stance

The two major advertising groups -- the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) -- reiterated their rejection of Nielsen's decision to change local TV station ratings.

Nielsen delayed eliminating live-only local TV program ratings in favor of live-plus-same-day ratings -- which were to start Jan. 1. The new date for the change is at the end of March.

In a meeting in New York on Jan. 15, advertisers and media buyers re-expressed that live-only program ratings should remain because live-plus-same-day ratings result in an overstatement of programming ratings.

In addition, they said while live-plus-same-day ratings include DVR playback -- and thus more commercial exposure -- there is no way to recognize commercial-skipping during that playback.

Ad executives said they had no problem with adding live-plus-same-day program ratings -- just not eliminating live-only ratings, which are the basis of many of their current TV contracts.

A number of sellers at the meeting said live-only program ratings fail to accurately record viewership -- especially with increasing DVR penetration and time-shifting of programs.

Nielsen has agreed to maintain the live stream through the first quarter of 2010 and will continue to meet with buyers and sellers to discuss the situation during that time.



1 comment about "Major Ad Groups Endorse Live-Only Ratings, Reject Nielsen Stance".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, January 25, 2010 at 7:57 p.m.

    What an ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach from the ANA and the AAAA. Don't these people realise that (i) DVR penetartion is only going to increase (ii) DVR usage and DVR playback is only going to increase. Ergo, live-only television viewing is going to decrease even though total television viewing is liable to remain pretty static.

    If I was among those august bodies I would be arguing to adopt and embrace it NOW, as at some stage in the future it is inevitable. Embrace it while the magnitude is relatively small. Be part of the solution while you can!

    If your fear is "paying for impressions that aren't seen" be active on the committees that determine HOW ad ratings are credited, rather than denying the existence of DVR playback.

    There is a simple solution. Only credit playback - including ads - that is done in 'real-time speed'. If someone either zips through as ad or skips it completely then that ad-minute is not credited.

    Sure there are issues around programme-minutes being credited when ad-minutes aren't, but we already know that ad-minutes suffer more from people leaving the room during the breaks or switching channels, but we seem to have coped with that over the years and I can't see how this is any different.

    My advice - recognise the future, and be on that train when it leaves the station or be left behind forever!

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