behalf of AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines, Ms. Maya Reforma, the
general research manager of the research group, has issued a statement in
reaction to the P63 million civil case filed by ABS-CBN last Friday, December
The two-page letter was faxed to PEP (Philippine
Entertainment Portal) earlier today, December 19. Ms. Reforma expressed disappointment: "The filing of the suit by ABS-CBN
against us without full observance of this provision is by the terms of our
contract premature, and is extremely disappointing."
She explained that she had previously told the Kapamilya network that they were already in the process of investigating the anomaly. In
fact, she states, "We initiated an investigation and informed the industry and
all stakeholders that certain panel homes had been contacted by representatives
of parties being linked to GMA-7."
Ms. Reforma ends her statement by saying that AGB Nielsen
is confident about the quality of their data and that they are "prepared to
defend the integrity of its ratings data before the courts."
to its official website, AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines
(previously known as Nielsen Media Research) has been providing the Philippine
broadcast and advertising industry with television audience measurement data
In a press statement, Maya Reforma, AGB Nielsen general
manager, said that it had previously advised ABS-CBN it was undertaking an
exhaustive investigation into the activities of GMA and analyzing whether or
not these activities had an impact on viewing data. She added that its contract
with ABS-CBN expressly grants AGB Nielsen a reasonable period not to exceed one
month to investigate issues concerning quality of data and present its findings
in writing. "The filing of the suit by ABS-CBN against us without full
observance of this provision is by the terms of our contract premature, and is
extremely disappointing," she added.
Ms. Reforma further stated that the company takes
seriously any allegations of alleged attempts to influence results of ratings
through unethical practices. "This is standard practice for our company which
constantly makes vital investments to protect the integrity of our
services," she said.
said, "Truth is, it is AGB Nielsen itself which is seeking industry
guidelines over media firms' conduct of promotional campaigns to improve their
reach in certain, areas, especially in the provinces."
said part of these promos which AGB Nielsen has uncovered involve
house-to-house sales pitches to improve ratings from parties being linked to a
complaint filed against AGB Nielsen is anchored on allegations that network
GMA-7 had been
able to discover the identities of some household participants in AGB Nielsen's
data gathering system reportedly in the guise of conducting its house-to-house
promos and AGB Nielsen's failure to heed ABS-CBN's demand to immediately cease
releasing the perceived unfavorable ratings as a consequence.
Household participants in the
survey panel are members of families who voluntarily sign up to take part in
AGB Nielsen's TAM (Television Audience Measurement) panel research. The
identities of TAM participants are kept strictly confidential.
Reforma said that AGB Nielsen
had been in constant communication with ABS-CBN since the issues were raised on
Nov. 20, 2007. "We initiated an investigation and informed the industry
and all stakeholders that certain panel homes had been contacted by
representatives of parties being linked to GMA-7. This was done by AGB
Nielsen to secure the cooperation of the industry to improve self-regulatory
guidelines for promotional campaigns of this nature and to ensure the
transparency of the investigation process."
Despite AGB Nielsen writing to
ABS-CBN asking to be allowed to complete its investigation and requesting
evidence to support the station's claims, ABS-CBN sent AGB Nielsen a demand
letter, asking for the total shutdown of its ratings service.
However, Reforma said until such
time as there is hard evidence to indicate the ratings data had been unduly
influenced by GMA's activities, it would continue to provide data to the
"AGB Nielsen is managing this
difficult situation in a responsible and professional way with the support of
key industry bodies, agencies and advertisers. To us, the involvement of the
entire industry is most important in settling matters such as this, as the
industry players deserve to know the real viewing habits of the public to
enable them to make very critical commercial decisions.
"We therefore welcome
the opportunity to present this problem to the stakeholders and let them agree
to cooperate to protect the integrity of the data. The case may hopefully catch
everyone's attention and force some industry reforms in terms of ethical
practices and behavior. AGB Nielsen is confident that its system has been able
to thwart any attempts at distorting the data, and is prepared to defend the
integrity of its ratings data before the courts," said Reforma.