Yesterday, protesters from minority advocacy groups held a press conference at L.A. City Hall to criticize Nielsen Media Research's upcoming People Meter, which the groups fear will undercount minority television viewership, particulary in urban areas. Nielsen has already launched what Broadcasting & Cable calls a "public-relations counteroffensive," sending out 500 DVDs entitled "Everyone Counts," which assures people that their methodology strives to ensure that "all television audiences are fairly and accurately represented in our samples."

The People Meter tries to improve on Nielsen's previous efforts, which only counted each black and Latino viewer measured during NBC's "Must See Thursday" programming block as 3/5 of a viewer, and their measuring instruments sometimes prodded minorities with on-screen pleas such as "Wouldn't you be a little more comfortable watching something nice on BET or UPN?"