Now your TV will watch you

Here’s a shock for advertisers who rely on Nielsen ratings data.

Adweek reports that Tracey Scheppach of Starcom found 25% of all viewing on the Charter Cable system in Los Angeles is on networks not broken out by Nielsen ratings. On the media planning side, this is horrific — a bit akin to finding out your bank had misplaced 25% of your money. Yikes.

For example, back in October 2007, 1 of the top 10 networks viewed was Jade — a Chinese cultural channel not listed by Nielsen. Scheppach’s data came directly from set-top cable boxes, new technology that records exactly what consumers watch when and promises to give advertisers better data and targeting.

On the targeting side, advertisers will soon be able to run different commercials at the same time on the same cable channels based on your past viewing profile. One test in Alabama found viewer ad skipping (that is, changing channels during the break) fell 38% with personalized ads.

Just try explaining it to your wife when your TV begins dishing up ads for Playboy merchandise, fellows.

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