Nielsen admits possible audience report discrepancies on 250,000 TV ads

NielsenMedia research company Nielsen has pledged to be “transparent” as it looks to work out what impact a time code error on up to 250,000 TV ads which ran in the first half of this year had on the industry.

It is understood the errors, which may have led to advertisers being given the wrong information around the number of people who viewed their ads, happened between January and May on two TV networks, with incorrect time syncing between ad capture machines and the Nielsen network blamed for the problem.

It emerged in The Australian today that the company has sent a note to media agency involved and the Media Federation explaining the the error, but warning that one per cent of the 25 million ads it monitored in that time may have been affected.

The news emerges a week after media agency Mediacom admitted it had found errors in post-campaign reports for three of its clients, Foxtel, Yum Brands and IAG, although Nielsen has said it does not believe these issues are related to that.

However, the problem may well have unknowingly led to some clients being given wrong data about the reach of some of their campaigns.

Media agencies across Australia will now have to wait while Nielsen quantifies the scale of the issues from the first five months, and will then have to check to see if any of their own campaign results have been materially affected by the issues.

Nielsen has said the issues are unrelated to the OxzTam TV ratings or IAB’s online ratings measurement, and said additional checks have been put in place to make sure the error does not happen again.


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