Nielsen CEO: ‘we haven’t been perfect’

The CEO of ad measurement firm Nielsen has defended the company amid ongoing industry scrutiny.

The company has come under increased pressure from broadcasters such as NBCUniversal, who have threatened to break away from the Nielsen US standard for audience measurement.

Last month, Nielsen called for a “hiatus” in the accreditation process by which broadcasters express their confidence in its audience measurement currency through approval by the industry’s Media Ratings Council.

Critics of the company have argued that Nielsen has failed to capture consumer shifts from traditional TV to streaming, while a trade group that represents major TV networks said that the firm undercounted TV viewers during the pandemic. 

In an open letter to the industry, Nielsen CEO David Kenny wrote: “We haven’t been perfect. We were slow to explain how the health and safety-related measures we took led to a reduction of our panel size.”

The CEO added that the company needs “to move faster in advancing our measurement because the audience itself is moving faster.”

He concluded by laying out Nielsen’s mission to provide detailed, unbiased and diverse audience measurement while the company is “dedicated to serving the needs of the industry and are committed to ensuring the most robust media measurement available.”

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