Nielsen Ceases Funding Of Council For Research Excellence

By Chrissie Cluney, Contributing Editor

Nielsen will end its relationship as the sole funder of The Council For Research Excellence, effective at the end of the year. This means the end of the independent ratings council.

Nielsen had provided an estimated $2-3 million in annual funding to the Council. The organization was formed in 2005 to help improve media measurement by conducting and publishing major studies about ratings issues and methodologies.

“While we believe in the CRE’s mission and work, after 12 years of commitment, Nielsen is ending its relationship as the organization’s sole funder,” said Nielsen. “This decision is not a reflection of the organization or its work. Rather it is based on our desire to bring greater simplicity and focus to our investments in measurement innovation.”

While Nielsen and its clients worked collaboratively through the CRE to improve ratings methodologies, some of the Council’s studies haven’t always painted the measurement giant in a positive light. The company has invested in approximately $20 million since the Council’s inception. The decision to end Council is seen as a cost-cutting move by several industry sources.

“Over the years, Nielsen has increased industry engagement on the evolution of measurement through the creation of several client advisory groups and is an active participant in a range of industry organizations focused on audience measurement,” said the company.  “Nielsen remains committed to an open and transparent dialogue with our clients as we work to advance audience measurement in today’s evolving media landscape.”

For 12 years the CRE has identified specific measurement issues and hired third-party research firms. This was to enable Nielsen to study the measurement issues and provide answers on how the company can improve its methodology.