Hey, Nielsen: Max Is Back

Hey, Nielsen: Max Is Back

Three years ago, the then-GM of a group of radio stations serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia — after a lot of sleepless nights — made one of the toughest decisions he’d ever made as a radio manager.

As renewal time neared for Nielsen Audio ratings, he declined to sign a new contract. By August 2017, one year later, he was sharing with Radio Ink tips on “how to sell without the numbers.”

By February 2018, that GM was gone. Now, the company led by Chairman/CEO Gene Loving, fresh from coping with a ransomware attack at another station group, has had a change of heart.

In an announcement formally released Thursday (7/25), Nielsen confirmed that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Max Media.

The new deal will allow the company to use “nearly all syndicated products and services” offered by Nielsen, including Portable People Meter (PPM) data, Nielsen Scarborough, Polk by IHS Markit data, Nielsen Rhiza, PD Advantage and Tapscan’s suite of services.

Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly said that he looks forward to assisting Max Media in helping Norfolk advertisers understand radio’s important role in the marketing mix, as well as the uniquely qualified consumers that they deliver.

“We are delighted to be working again with Nielsen,” said Keith Barton, VP/GM of Max Media. “The capabilities of Nielsen’s tools are integral to our ability to facilitate success for the advertisers and agencies that we work with. We are now armed with the tools necessary to provide valuable marketing and advertising expertise to our clients and ultimately increase ROI.”

That’s a far cry from August 2016, when Max Media/Norfolk VP/GM Dave Paulus told Radio Ink that a lack of movement in the ratings for the top three stations and the presence of another non-subscriber (Sinclair Telecable) prompted the money-saving decision.

Also, clients that subscribed to Nielsen Audio ratings could very much see where Max Media’s stations ranked, as the group was not “delisted.”

Paulus said, “No more PD conversations about the one meter that moved our group from fifth to 10th, and with the sellers, a 45-minute conversation about a $10 rate adjustment because our ’29- book average’ is showing us down a tenth of a point. You kind of get back to basics, and while we miss having the knowledge at our fingertips at times, there are benefits as well.”

It seems the negatives eventually outweighed the benefits.

Paulus exited as Max Media’s Norfolk VP/GM in February 2018, ending a run that began in November 2010. Today, he is Director of Client Services at O’Brien et. al. Advertising in Virginia Beach.

Source: https://www.rbr.com/hey-nielsen-max-is-back/

By Adam Jacobson – July 25, 2019