Mail from Neilson Media Research - Don't throw it away!

Yesterday I got mail from Neilson Media Research. Yes, I believe this is the Neilson Rating company.

Anyway, I opened it, and there was a short survey in it that they wanted me to send back.

But ALSO:*** there were 5 $1 bills in the envelope!***

I was a bit surprised, to say the least. And given this, I’m sure they’re not sending a whole lot of these out, but I thought I’d warn everyone just in case.


I think I remember getting something like that in the mail before. A survey with some cash ($2-$5). I think they were trying to guilt people into responding.
I wonder what their ROI is with a marketing move like this?

I got one of those letters back in the late 80s… But they only enclosed $1 back then.

I sometimes get those, and this is one reason why I open ALL my mail.

I suspect they are looking for people for more in-depth opinions. I believe this survey only asked how many TVs do you have, how much do you watch, and are you Hispanic or not. So it seems they are looking for Hispanic reviewers.

Not being Hispanic, I probably won’t get “a call-back”, as it were, but you never know.


///operant conditioning complete
///execute plan brainvade

Yes, and those are 5 brand new crisp dollar bills, thank you very much, and I also wonder about their ROI with this strategy.

I few years back I got the same thing. I also filled out a log of my TV-watching habits, which netted me an additional $30 (if I recall correctly).

The survey seemed primarily concerned with whether I was Latino. It asked about race as well as which languages were spoken in the household. The log didn’t have any way to enter information on what I watched online, as opposed to over the air or cable. So I left it blank except for an explanatory note about how the television was on whenever I was home, and I watched television shows on it, but at no point did I “watch television” in the way their logbook was designed to measure. Even at the time it struck me as an archaic method of gathering data.

I got a similar mail from Arbitron (radio rating folks)
$1 initially
$1 for agreeing to do the radio diary for a week
$1 for actually doing that


Furthering this thought, why don’t some of you tell us about all the great prizes you have won from Publishers Clearinghouse and similar sweepstakes?

My brother knows a guy who won $5,000 from Publisher’s Clearinghouse. Ever since that happened, I always send the entry form back. Why not? It’s genuine.

I also recently won a skateboard from an online contest, which I sold for $25.

I got something similar, with a two-dollar coin in the envelope. :slight_smile: (Yes, we have $2 coins in Canada.)

We had a similar offer at my parents’ house a couple of decades ago but keeping up the diary was a lot of work for three or five bucks.

We did that once too. I can’t remember exactly what really weird shows we said we watched or it helped them get renewed. That made it worth the pay.

We got a fiver from Nielsen once. Sure made a windfall split 4 ways.

I got $30 from Neilsen for filling out a TV watching diary. I see at as a win-win. I get money for some brief paperwork, and the shows that I like to watch get more ad money and stay on the air longer.

We were a Neilsen family for a while, but we didn’t have to keep a diary - there was a gadget that automatically recorded what channel we were watching and for how long.



Now we know who to blame.

My diary was only for a week - perhaps longer surveys get the equipment.