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Field Reports

1 Jan, 2007 By: Thomas Haire, Courtney Beth Pugatch Response

Trudeau Pulls the Plug on ERA Lawsuit Appeal

By Thomas Haire (

VENTURA, Calif. — On Nov. 29, a California Appellate Court posted the "voluntary dismissal" of popular infomercial host Kevin Trudeau's appeal in his lawsuit against the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA). According to court records, Trudeau's camp requested the dismissal on Nov. 28, after requesting two hearing extensions — in August and October.

The dismissal perhaps comes as little surprise to an industry that was initially shocked by Trudeau's initial $10 million lawsuit against ERA, which was filed on Sept. 21, 2005, and tossed out by a California Superior Court judge on Jan. 29, 2006. Trudeau appealed that action on April 6, but the process never really moved forward from that point.

"ERA is pleased that Mr. Trudeau has abandoned his appeal," Barbara Tulipane, ERA president, said in a statement to Response. "From the outset of this case, ERA has maintained that Mr. Trudeau's allegations were without merit. The Superior Court agreed with ERA, dismissed Mr. Trudeau's lawsuit, and ordered him to reimburse ERA for some of its legal fees. Now that the lawsuit has concluded, ERA looks forward to continuing to work with leaders in the electronic retailing industry to protect consumers' rights."

Repeated attempts by Response to gain comment from Trudeau on the appeal's dismissal were ignored until late December, when a spokesperson for the infomercial host said that Trudeau had "no comment." This comes in stark contrast to Trudeau's bold statements and predictions throughout the process, including promises of an "exposE9 on what is really going on in this industry" during the initial lawsuit.

Nielsen Meets With Clients to Discuss Commercial Ratings

By Courtney Beth Pugatch (

NEW YORK — Nielsen met with more than 100 clients on Dec. 7 to discuss options in how to provide and track short-form commercial ratings for television advertising. The company has been working diligently with these clients for the past several months to find a program that satisfies all concerns with tracking ratings.

Following the meeting, the company announced that beginning Apr. 24 all data needed to create ratings of any given minute for any period of DVR playback will be available though Nielsen's All Minute Data File.

The company also revealed that DVR playback among 18-to-49 year-olds results in 76 percent of broadcast programming being viewed within two days of recording, and with approximately 84 percent viewing within three days. This has allowed Nielsen to monitor its services for "live + 3 days" — creating data it will release on its All Minute Data Files.

Nielsen spent the rest of December consulting further with clients, and is expected to announce when the official commercial ratings file will become available sometime this month.

Francis Sentenced to Community Service in Florida 'Girls Gone Wild' Case

By Thomas Haire (

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