Media Rating Council (MRC) Suspends Nielsen’s Accreditation

The MRC (Media Rating Council) recently voted to suspend Nielsen’s accreditation to measure national and local television after the measurement firm undercounted national TV household viewership during the pandemic.

Since then, there have been several voices and articles challenging the validity of the MRC and its audit process, sometimes pointing to the number of potential competitors in the space that don’t have MRC accreditation for their individual measurement solution.

As a brief refresher, a U.S. Congressional Committee in the 1960s agreed to the need to form an Industry-funded organization to review and accredit audience rating services called the Broadcast Rating Council (now referred to as the Media Rating Council).

The MRC has three stated goals:

  • Secure media industry measurement services that are valid, reliable, and effective.
  • Evolve & determine minimum disclosure and ethical criteria for media measurement services.
  • Audit measurement services in conformance with the criteria and procedures developed.

The 4A’s and the 4A’s Measurement Committee believe that the MRC is a key advertising and marketing industry keystone partner and must continue to play its necessary and agnostic role. In turn, the advertising and marketing industry must continue supporting the MRC for their actions to hold measurement companies to consistent standards required by the industry.

Industry collaboration is critical in creating new solutions for cross-media measurement. We have now moved beyond panels, and it is essential for all data owners to work together to standardize their data so that it can be used interoperably in an open architecture to offer deduplicated reach so advertisers and their agencies can understand the impact of cross-media campaigns.

About the 4A’s:
The 4A’s was established in 1917 to promote, advance, and defend the interests of our member agencies, employees and the advertising and marketing industries overall. We empower our members to drive commerce, spark connections, and shape culture through infinite creativity. With a focus on advocacy, talent and the value of creativity and technology to drive business growth and cultural change, the organization serves 600+ member agencies across 1,200 offices, which help direct more than 85% of total U.S. advertising spend. The 4A’s includes the 4A’s Benefits division, which insures more than 160,000 employees; the government relations team, who advocate for policies to support the industry; and the 4A’s Foundation, which advocates for and connects multicultural talent to the marketing industry by fostering a culture of curiosity, creativity and craft to fuel a more ​equitable future for the industry.