Nielsen Glitch Zaps Commercial Minutes Data

CBS research czar David Poltrack made news last month when, during an important audience measurement conference, he unveiled a deal between Nielsen and the major TV networks to begin providing "commercial" audience ratings beginning this fall. But there was an irony in the timing of that announcement, because even as Poltrack was making the disclosure June 20th during the Advertising Research Foundation's Audience Measurement Symposium, a key element of Nielsen's commercial ratings system was broken and was not producing the data necessary to identify when commercial minutes were actually running.

Due to a glitch in Nielsen's Monitor-Plus ad tracking system, the service that monitors and reports when ads run, no commercial minutes data was being reported by Nielsen as Poltrack spoke.

"If you wanted to use the Npower system to get the commercial ratings for the weeks of June 5 and June 12 you could not," confirmed Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus, after MediaDailyNews received complaints from some Nielsen clients that they were unable to use the system to generate so-called commercial audience ratings.

Loftus said it was unclear what the glitch was, but said it has been corrected and that the data for the missing weeks would ultimately be reprocessed and added back to the Monitor-Plus and Npower databases.



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