Unable to find what it said was an apparent glitch in Nielsen's ratings methodology that could have been responsible for an "inexplicable" plunge in the ratings of its Nickelodeon kids channel, Viacom has begun offering its advertisers "make-goods" -- essentially free time -- that are contractually required when audience levels fall below a guaranteed Threshold, the New York Post reported today (Thursday). The channel is reportedly offering advertisers the free time during the busy holiday season. The Post quoted ad buyer Shelly Hirsch at Beacon Media Group as saying that she and her clients were angry "because if their business isn't up to expectations, they need something to blame," Nielsen said that it had been working with Viacom representatives but could find no glitch in its system. Hirsch expressed satisfaction with Viacom's decision to provide the make-goods now, since, she observed, they would be of little value after December 25.
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