Nielsen 18-34 Study Due Soon


Nielsen Media Research expects to issue its long-awaited "White Paper" -- its probe into why young men have abandoned the broadcast networks this season -- sometime next week, officials at the ratings service confirmed Friday.

Nielsen’s clients requested that it carefully examine its methodology, and the impact of changes it made to its national sample, to determine if they are to blame for a drop in young-male viewers 18-34 in primetime for the "Big Four."

After issuing an initial report on the phenomenon several weeks ago, Nielsen promised to take a more in-depth look at the issue and then disclose its findings.

It appears that Nielsen’s white paper, like its initial report, will maintain that the ratings company’s methodology is not to blame for the drop, but that there are a host of other factors contributing to it, not the least of which is the dearth of male-targeted new shows on broadcast this season.

Nielsen has recently come under fire not only from its broadcast-network clients, but also from the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Late this past summer, the Four A’s filed a confidential inquiry request with the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to look into whether or not Nielsen is acting in an unfair or monopolistic manner regarding third-party processing companies, Kipp Cheng, the trade group’s vice president and director of public affairs, said Friday. Third-party processors analyze and massage Nielsen date for ad agencies.

The FTC has met with some ad agencies, but Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus said the ratings service has not been contacted.