Oprah Winfrey's Twitter flub
The retired talk show queen is the latest celebrity user to eat her words, issuing an apology Monday after sending out a blast the night before to her Twitter followers, particularly those with a Nielsen box, to watch her cable channel.
“Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if you have a Neilsen box,” Winfrey tweeted to her roughly 9 million followers shortly after 9 p.m. on Sunday.
On the surface, it simply appeared like a desperate plea for viewers for the struggling network — the message coincided with the airing of a new episode of her show “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” And while it might still be that, it’s also considered a major no-no. The audience measurement company samples roughly 25,000 households across the country and works to ensure that viewers in the sample are not pressured to change their viewing habits.
"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," said a Nielsen spokesperson. "We take any violation of our policy seriously and will work with clients to resolve the situation."
As is customary with Twitter flubs, the tweet in question has disappeared — but you can still find her responses to users who criticized her tweet. "I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen," Winfrey said in a statement. "I intended no harm and apologize for the reference." While it's the first time she's singled out Nielsen users, it's not the first time Winfrey has reminded her followers to tune to OWN.
— Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Oprah Winfrey attends a news conference at the inaugural graduation of the class of 2011 at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on Jan. 14 in Henley on Klip, South Africa. Credit: Michelly Rall/Getty Images.