NEW YORK: A move by top-five VNR firm DS Simon Productions to unite
the industry behind a unified audience measurement system is dividing
First mooted in March, a press release last week announcing an 18-firm
agreement in VNR audience measurement has instead caused upset in the
tumultuous world of video PR.
DS Simon spent dollars 50,000 on an audience measurement standardization
ad campaign, and the 18 firms have agreed to show clients their
methodology for determining audience numbers when Nielsen Media Research
does not report a viewing audience. The companies, mostly smaller shops,
also pledged not to cite a potential viewing audience as actual viewing
However, the heads of the other top-five VNR firms - MediaLink, News
Broadcast Network (NBN), KEF Media and On The Scene Productions (OTSP) -
unanimously disapproved of the new agreement.
Larry Moskowitz, president of MediaLink, called the agreement "pathetic"
and said signing it would set MediaLink standards back ten years. Mike
Hill, president of NBN, signed the agreement, but said he did so in fear
of negative implications had he not signed. Jeff Wurtz, NBN's SVP of
sales and marketing, called the decision whether to sign the agreement
"a no-win situation."
Sally Jewett, president of OTSP, did not sign. She said her peers were
more interested in her idea of an industry council, not the DS Simon
"I thought we were getting somewhere with the independent council idea
late last week," said Jewett. "Then Doug (Simon, president/CEO of DS
Simon) said he wasn't going to do that and issued his own press
Simon said he didn't understand why his "important effort" was being met
with disdain. "This effort has helped bring the issue of audience
reporting out into the open," he said. "Some groups think it is a bad
idea, which is hard for me to understand. However, as this continues to
evolve and grow, I remain very excited about it."