While most are talking about the death of television as effective media, Erin Media has filed a second lawsuit against Nielsen Media Research (NMR), a subsidiary of Netherlands-based VNU, for False Advertising and Unfair Trade Practices. The first pertains to an antitrust lawsuit.
This new filing is over a full page ad placed in the October 24, 2005 edition of Television Week, among others. In the full color advertisement, the bold print headlines claim: "Thousands of shows ...millions of different viewers ... Nielsen counts them all." The suit specifically requests, among other things, that the Court award relief to end Nielsen's false advertising practices; that Nielsen stop dissemination of this advertising and promotional material; that Nielsen publish corrective advertising; and that the Court award erinMedia punitive damages for Nielsen's intentional, willful, and malicious conduct.
You can see the ad at Erin Media's site, WeShouldAllCount, created for information on the lawsuit.
"At issue is Nielsen's increasingly desperate effort to mislead the American people, and our television and advertising industries, into believing that their Truman-era company can use Reagan-era technology to count almost 300 million 21st century Americans," states Frank Maggio, Chairman of erinMedia. "As a first generation American, I consider the concepts of voting
and counting to be almost sacred, and I am outraged that the Nielsen leadership would ever allow an ad like this to be published. Nielsen's president, Susan Whiting, stood before the Senate last summer and stated that Nielsen is in 'the truth business.' We beg to differ. The truth is they don't count millions of different viewers -- they don't even count 9,000 households in their national sample!"