Nielsen Releases Los Angeles PPM Irregularities Response

Nielsen Audio Los Angeles PPMNielsen Audio has sent out a follow-up message to clients regarding the irregularities it discovered in the Los Angeles PPM survey.

Nielsen’s investigation discovered that “an isolated personnel issue caused several households to be improperly brought online” between January and July 2016, but was limited to the Los Angeles market. No previous ratings will be rereleased nor was there a major impact on any station’s ratings.

As communicated on August 22, out of an abundance of caution 35 homes were removed from the Los Angeles August PPM survey because quality protocols were not followed.

We have completed an impact analysis for all months in 2016. The analysis compares estimates without the affected homes to the originally published estimates. These homes had extremely light radio exposure overall and there was zero impact on total radio listening. In addition, there was no material impact on station-level ratings during the months of January through July. Therefore, the Los Angeles data we have previously published will not be reissued. Impact data is available to clients upon request.

When this issue was identified in early August, we launched a comprehensive investigation to determine root cause, what actions, if any, may be required for prior months in 2016 and whether this issue affected other PPM markets.

The investigation determined that an isolated personnel issue caused several households to be improperly brought online between January and July 2016. Additionally, the investigation confirmed that this issue was isolated to Los Angeles and that no media outlets were involved.

Nielsen is constantly innovating new compliance checks to ensure the quality of its PPM panel. In this specific case, Nielsen moved quickly to identify the root cause and immediately took corrective action.

Original Report 8/22: Nielsen Audio sent out a memo to clients this afternoon that it has found irregular compliance patterns affecting 35 households in the Los Angeles PPM survey.

Nielsen is removing the 35 households affecting 55 PPM holders from the August 2016 week 3, week 4 and monthly releases. The company says that 2% of the average daily in-tab and less than 1% of listening in those weeks were affected. Further investigation in to prior survey releases and other markets will be made.

As part of Nielsen’s ongoing quality assurance program, we identified irregular compliance patterns in select PPM homes in the Los Angeles metro area. We conducted an extensive investigation which determined that Nielsen’s quality standards were not followed. Out of an abundance of caution, we removed 35 households, which represented 55 average daily in-tab persons for the first two weeks of August. This accounts for 2% of the average daily in-tab and contributed less than 1% of listening for these weeks.

The Nielsen PPM August 2016 Week 3, Week 4 and monthly data releases will exclude these homes. The data will release as originally scheduled.

We are conducting an impact analysis of 2016 data for the LA market to determine what, if any, actions may be required for prior months. We will be in constant communication with our Los Angeles clients to ensure they are kept updated on the results of the impact analysis and plans moving forward.

We are also investigating all other PPM markets and conducting an aggressive review of protocols and will be taking a number of steps to prevent recurrence. Nielsen is committed to upholding the highest standards of data integrity and market transparency in order to provide the most effective audience measurement solutions to meet client needs.

We will continue to actively update clients and the industry on our findings and steps moving forward.

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