Oprah Winfrey has landed in hot water with Nielsen after begging viewers to tune into her channel OWN while the 54th Annual Grammy Awards was on air. "Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen box," so she tweeted on Sunday, February 12, and added later, "Commercial Grammy people..u can turn to OWN."
The tweet may have violated the ratings service policy by targeting Nielsen box-top owners "to change their viewing habits." After she was notified of her violation, Oprah deleted the first tweet and issued a statement read, "I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen. I intended no harm and apologize for the reference."
While Oprah has apologized for her promotional tweet, Nielsen will take action for the rule-violating comment. "In accordance with our policies and procedures, Nielsen is reviewing this incident with our clients and we may withhold, breakout and/or make a note in the ratings. We take any violation of our policy seriously and will work with clients to resolve the situation," the ratings service has stated.
A Nielsen spokesperson has additionally said that "an asterisk will be attached to OWN's ratings at the time of day Ms. Winfrey's message was sent, noting a 'possible biasing effect.' "
Oprah also drew a backlash due to her promotional tweet, with some tweeps accusing her of being desperate and pathetic. Defending herself, the "Oprah's Next Chapter" host wrote on Sunday, "The word 'please' is used as courtesy not a beg ... 'desperate' not ever a part of my vocab ... 'unethical' a little harsh don't u think? Seemed like it made sense to me. Sorry if u're offended."