Is the Ad Industry Ready For Nielsen Ratings For TV Commercials?

Ad Age takes a closer look at changes that are coming to TV ad spending:

Come November, Nielsen Media Research will begin delivering average commercial ratings per program with measurements backdated to the start of the season. The figures will be in a format buyers can crunch much more simply than the minute-by-minute data available through Nielsen systems.
“Agencies and clients have charged us with proving that people who are recording commercials watch them, and that, in fact, is what this would do,” said Fox President-Sales Jon Nesvig. “There has to be some form of currency that makes sense for both sides, and so I would think that commercial viewing over a reasonable time frame would be what our customers want.”
While the change is radical, marketers still won’t be paying for viewers of their own commercials. Rather, they’ll pay for an average calculated on the basis of every ad break, or pod, that runs during a specific show. Still, it is the best way to move forward without buyers having to spend big to retool their current data-crunching systems. It also guards against the prospect of networks being penalized for bad or unpopular creative.

Any media buyers out there want to comment on this? Personally, I’ve never had much faith in Nielsen ratings, so I’m not sure this’ll solve anything.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.