Talk:Glover Park Group
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Anti-people meter people
In 2004, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation launched a "campaign to block Nielsen Research from changing the TV ratings system," according to the National Journal (Sept 13, 2004). GPG worked with the PR firms Dewey Square Group and Grassroots Enterprise, Inc. on the "lobbying, advertising and grassroots campaign designed to persuade black and Hispanic lawmakers to pressure Nielsen to scrap the new ratings system."
The argument given was that "African-American and Latino viewers in New York would be undercounted by electronic People Meters," according to New York Daily News (Apr. 8, 2004). But Roll Call (Apr. 7, 2004) reported that News Corp. "fear[ed] the loss of millions of dollars in advertising revenue under the new ratings system." ("Nielsen," noted Roll Call, "counters that the new system increases ratings for black and Hispanic households.")
PR Week reported, "A coalition of political and community leaders has hired a Washington, DC-based public affairs agency to help in its campaign against the rollout of new data-collection technology by Nielsen Media Research. The coalition, called Don't Count Us Out, has hired Glover Park Group, a PA shop with close Democratic ties. The firm subcontracted media outreach for a series of events last week to New York-based Brand Sphere Partners (BSP), a management consultancy, according to BSP" (Anita Chabria, "Glover Park Aids in Effort Against New TV Data Research," PR Week, April 5, 2004).
According to Roll Call, "News Corp.'s campaign [against the new Nielsen People Meters] drafted another former Clinton press secretary, Joe Lockhart. Political consultants at Lockhart's Glover Park Group contacted the offices of minority lawmakers to ask them to write letters to Nielsen complaining about the People Meters. The Glover Park Group also provided the lawmakers with samples to help Congressional aides draft letters that hit all of the key points" (Brody Mullins, "Minority Members Help Nix Nielsen Change," Roll Call, April 7, 2004).
The New York Times added, "Glover Park, in turn, hired former Clinton operatives on the West Coast to handle the anti-Nielsen campaign there, chiefly Mark D. Fabiani, a former Clinton White House special counsel who worked on the Whitewater inquiry; and Christopher S. Lehane, who was also a counsel in the Clinton White House. Both men also went on to work for Mr. Gore's presidential campaign in 2000" (Raymond Hernandez and Stuart Elliott, "The Odd Couple vs. Nielsen," New York Times, June 14, 2004).
In April 2005, Don't Count Us Out celebrated its one-year anniversary by announcing a new "advertising campaign and a new Web site called 'Recommendation Watch'," which will "track Nielsen's progress towards improving minority TV measurement." The ads were created by GPG, according to AdWeek (Katy Bachman, "DCUO Launches Nielsen Oversight Campaign," AdWeek, April 12, 2005).
- The Glover Park Group is admitting for the first time that it created, organized and directed the activities of the Don't Count Us Out organization at the behest of News Corp. Don't Count Us Out has always maintained that it was an independent group of community activists. However, this admission, which is found on Glover Park's own website as a "case study" to attract more clients, clearly shows that it was always acting to advance the corporate interests of News Corp. and its TV stations, which experienced lower ratings after Nielsen replaced paper diaries with more accurate electronic Local People Meters in major television markets.
Don't Count Us Out leader Gil Casellas countered that his group has "always readily discussed the fact that we receive financial and logistical support from News Corp.," accusing Nielsen of "trying to change the topic from the plain fact that right now Nielsen's monopoly ratings service is not fully accredited in any market in the United States except one. Nielsen should spend more time fixing its broken ratings system and less time slinging mud at community activists" (William Triplett, "News Corp. pulls strings on coalition," Variety, April 25, 2005).
In 2006, the Glover Park Group distributed a memo to Democratic congresspeople and DC media claiming that support for the Medicare prescription drug program was solid. As the media reported:
- Joel Johnson, a partner at Glover Park, said his firm came to "the conclusion that with all the issues the Democrats have to work with, it just seems clear that there are more valuable targets upon which to focus our fire: tax breaks, Iraq, energy, environment, ethics." [...] "Nobody's more interested than I am in electing a Democratic Senate and Democratic House," said Johnson, a former senior policy and communications adviser to President Bill Clinton. "I hope we fight the most effective battle and are not falling into any traps."
Johnson and Glover Park neglected to mention that the work was funded by drug industry associations.