Nielsen Faces Second erinMedia Suit

erinMedia Inc., which collects viewership data off set-tops, has filed a second lawsuit in federal court against Nielsen Media Research.

The start-up ratings company is now charging Nielsen with false advertising and unfair trade practices in its latest lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. Last year, erinMedia lodged an antitrust suit against Nielsen in the same court.

In its new lawsuit, erinMedia is objecting to an ad that Nielsen ran in trade paper TV Week Oct. 25. The ad’s headline said, “Thousands of shows … millions of different viewers … Nielsen counts them all.”

erinMedia and its chairman and owner, Frank Maggio, charged that the ad is misleading because “the truth is that they don’t count millions of different viewers -- they don’t even count 9,000 households in their national sample.”

Nielsen hasn’t received a copy of the complaint and, therefore, it can’t comment at this point, according to spokeswoman Laura James.

In November, a judge refused to dismiss erinMedia’s antitrust suit against Nielsen. But the court did throw out the half of that suit that had been brought by ReacTV LLC, an interactive-gaming network also owned by Maggio.