Magazine article ADWEEK

Buyers See Double Trouble in Nielsen's Two-Book Plan: As Protest Ads Air, LPM System Joins Meter Diaries

Magazine article ADWEEK

Buyers See Double Trouble in Nielsen's Two-Book Plan: As Protest Ads Air, LPM System Joins Meter Diaries

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES Nielsen Media Research's decision last week to provide two ratings books through Sept. 2--one set based on its standard meter diaries, the other on its new Local People Meter system--has media buyers confused about how to use each set of numbers.

"This is worse" than the days when Nielsen and Arbitron each offered their own ratings, said Maribeth Papuga, svp at Publicis Groupe's MediaVest in New York. "The data can be confused and create more anxiety. The longer the options are there, the harder it is to get compliance across all parties."

Monica Gadsby, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group unit Tapestry in Chicago, said advertisers will "force the agencies to take one position." Added Gadsby, whose multicultural agency has $400 million in billings, I fully expect the networks to play a game and gravitate toward the best numbers ... favoring the book that is best for them."

Buyers will gravitate toward the LPMs, predicted Jack Loftus, svp of communications at Nielsen (which, like Adweek, is owned by VNU). But, he noted, "stations like Fox are perfectly capable of going to advertisers and selling what they want."

The LPM service, which Nielsen kicked off last Thursday in the New York market, is under attack in a multimillion-dollar TV and print campaign [Adweek Online, June 2] that's backed by Fox and spearheaded by Don't Count Us Out, a coalition of largely Hispanic media interests.

Two weeks ago, the Media Rating Council refused to accredit the LPM service, and CBS urged Nielsen to delay its rollout in New York. …

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