Nielsen: ‘LPM’ a Go in L.A., Chicago, S.F.

Despite the ongoing controversy and protests, Nielsen Media Research plans to not only proceed with its controversial launch of “Local People Meters” Thursday in Los Angeles, but to also roll them out Aug. 5 in Chicago and Sept. 30 in San Francisco, officials said Wednesday.

As it has done in New York, Nielsen will continue to operate the old “Meter/Diary” system along with the LPMs for a set period of time, as a transition period, to allow clients to adjust to the new system.

For example, in Los Angeles, Nielsen will continue to run the Meter/Diaries through the July sweep period ending Aug. 4. During the transition period, either set of data -- from the LPMs or the Meter/Dairies -- can be used commercially, according to Nielsen.

The LPM sample in Los Angeles has been at full size, roughly 800 homes, since the week of April 5.

In Chicago, Nielsen will support both the LPM and the Meter/Diary services from Aug. 5 through the September survey period ending Sept. 22. And the ratings company will offer both services in San Francisco for a three-month period from the LPMs’ kickoff, Sept. 30, through Dec. 29.

“The Local People Meter system in Los Angeles is more accurate and reflective of the community than the Meter/Diary system currently in place,” Nielsen CEO Susan Whiting said in a prepared statement.

“Nielsen is an independent ratings service that is neither owned by nor controlled by the media companies whose television programming we measure,” she added. “Given the importance of ratings in determining the allocation of advertising dollars, we are committed to delivering the highest-quality measurements as soon as possible.”

LPM opponents -- including News Corp. and the coalition of Hispanic and African-American groups called Don’t Count Us Out -- charged that LPMs undercount minority TV audiences, an allegation Nielsen denies.

Last week, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. failed in its bid to get an injunction to stop the LPM rollout in Los Angeles.

Don’t Count Us Out was slated to hold an anti-LPM press conference in that city Wednesday.