Anti-‘LPM’ Group Restates Its Case

Don't Count Us Out renewed its call for regulatory control of Nielsen Media Research Thursday.

The group -- a coalition of community leaders claiming that minority viewers are undercounted by Nielsen Media Research and its “Local People Meter” system -- said the latest LPM data showed an alarming upward trend in its fault rates, with African-American and Hispanic households up to twice as likely to be uncounted as nonminority households.

LPMs have been launched in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Don't Count Us Out claimed that November fault rates -- instances when Nielsen failed to record viewing data for a particular household -- in African-American and Hispanic homes were 43% and 123% higher than in white homes, respectively, in San Francisco, and in Chicago, those figures were 62.5% and 49%, respectively.

“Any system in which blacks and Hispanics are consistently being counted out at such a high rate needs to be re-evaluated,” Don't Count Us Out campaign manager Josh Lahey said in a prepared statement.

“It has been seven months since Nielsen launched the LPMs,” he added. “By this point, the inconsistencies and fault rates should have been alleviated, not growing. Nielsen has violated the public's trust by mishandling the only system that determines who's watching what shows on the public airwaves.”