New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–May 28 , 2004–The Media Ratings Council (MRC), an independent group consisting of television industry representatives, announced today that the group is withholding accreditation to Nielsen Media Research’s new Local People Meter system. The controversial new system has come under intense criticism from dozens of Members of Congress from both parties, community leaders and viewers due to concerns that the system may severely undercount African American and Hispanic viewers.
Alex Nogales of the National Latino Media Council commented, “Today’s decision by the MRC simply confirms what we have been saying all along: the LPM system is rife with inconsistencies and demands further review before it is forced on the viewing public. We are very pleased that the MRC has lived up to its mandate to serve as a true watchdog and defend the public interest.”
Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez of the Hispanic Federation and co-chair of Don’t Count Us Out/Queremos Ser Contados in New York City added, “Members of Congress have called for an independent investigation of the LPM system. Community leaders from across America have called for an independent investigation of the LPM system. And now the MRC, which has had a longstanding relationship with Nielsen, has added their voice to this loud and growing chorus. It’s time for Nielsen to recognize the overwhelming concerns of stakeholders from across the spectrum and agree to a reasonable delay in order to allow time for an independent, expert panel to look at this new system and develop recommendations to ensure that when it is rolled out it meets the highest standards of fairness and accuracy.”
According to its public statements, Nielsen still plans to introduce this potentially flawed local ratings system to the New York City media market on June 3rd. Members of Congress have called on various regulatory agencies including the Federal Trade Commission and the General Accounting Office to consider conducting investigations into various aspects of Nielsen’s practices.
Don’t Count Us Out
Nickie Jurado, 212-253-0266
Ebony Shears, 212-253-0266