Numeris is calling, but Canadians need more information about TV ratings

Numeris makes nine million calls a year – and half of you don’t even pick up. The ad campaign will help ensure people recognize the new name on call display.
(stokkete/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


By Kate Taylor

February 11th, 2015

You’ve probably noticed the nice lady from Numeris. She’s on those television ads, sweetly suggesting that when Numeris calls you might want to pick up the phone and help shape the future of TV.

Sometimes, her pitch is followed by images of outraged homeowners yelling “Boneheads!” or “Idiots!” down the phone. The nice lady (she is actually actress Stephanie Belding) then politely reiterates: “Numeris. Our name is Numeris.”
Numeris compiles the ratings for Canadian radio and television, and the organization has recently decided that self-deprecation and humour are the best approach. It used to be called the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement and then just BBM, until BlackBerry muscled in on that acronym for its messenger app. Legal action ensued but eventually “saner heads prevailed,” Numeris CEO Jim MacLeod says. “We wanted to rebrand anyway. BBM conjures up diaries and books and we’re cutting edge.”

The cutting edge is the PPM or personal people meter, a small wireless device worn by volunteers that registers coded signals sent out by radio and television programs and relays them back to Numeris. Those codes are compiled from a large panel of volunteers that reflects the makeup of the Canadian population and, bingo, you have ratings.

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