NEW YORK: A coalition of political and community leaders has hired a Washington, DC-based public affairs agency to help in its campaign against the rollout of new data-collection technology by Nielsen Media Research.
The coalition, called Don't Count Us Out, has hired Glover Park Group, a PA shop with close Democratic ties. The firm subcontracted media outreach for a series of events last week to New York-based Brand Sphere Partners (BSP), a management consultancy, according to BSP.
At issue is a new technology Nielsen plans on distributing in New York this week to collect TV viewership data. Critics fear the method undercounts minorities. That debate is controversial because networks use the data to determine ad rates and the types of programs they create. Nielsen critics feel undercounting minorities could lead to less diversity in both shows and hiring decisions.
The coalition has begun a website and a letter-writing drive to Nielsen, the FTC, and the FCC. It also has placed ads and plans on grassroots outreach to minorities, media, and political leaders. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume are among those supporting the cause.
Nielsen communications VP Jack Loftus did not return calls seeking comment.