In the mid-aughts, I took Nielsen to task for over-representing Spanish speaking (and under-representing English Speaking) Hispanics in their sample. They blew me off until we went high profile with “Change The Sample” and later “Help Change TV,” which went viral in the trades and consumer press (when viral wasn’t even a thing yet). Then they wanted to meet, talk, etc.
Next year, at NATPE, we had a great grassroots marketing campaign to bring awareness to the issue. Nielsen, to get us to stop, had a meeting with myself and our VP of Advertising at NATPE, assuring us that if we stopped the marketing campaign, they’d promise to address the issue and let us know some concrete steps they’d take to address within 30 days. 30 days went by, then 60. Nothing. I called. When I finally got our rep on the line, they denied having the meeting (the representative was at the meeting).
That was when I got my first taste of Nielsen’s systemic intellectual dishonesty and duplicity. Since then, a lot has changed, and I no longer work in Hispanic targeted media, but apparently, Nielsen’s modus operandi remains the same. Deny, lie, cover up and pretend that they are offering anything but, at best, guesstimates that a multi-billion dollar industry has grown to rely on—a house of cards.