1976-1987: From the first installation of a peoplemeter to the Italian panel
In 1976, LCM Graman, an ad-hoc research and consulting company established in Rome in 1964, launched a TAM service based on the peoplemeter system by recruiting 500 households as the pioneer nationwide panel. This meter, designed and manufactured in Italy, tape-recorded all information which were then merged with the individual audience data collected through a diary survey conducted on a sample of 1,500 individuals.
This new Television Audience Measurement was the first experience in this field of Alberto Colussi, the promoter and Managing Director of LCM Graman, who supplied the television audience data for 5 years until 1981. In 1981 LCM Graman went into partnership with the English AGB Research plc. and signed an important contract with RAI, the only national public station existing at that time, and started up a panel of 1,740 households.At the same time AGB Italia was established to see this package of peoplemeters.
Alberto Colussi, with AGB Research plc, was one of the partners of this enterprise. In 1985, with the birth of the private commercial networks in Italy, the major players of the television market decided to found Auditel, a Joint Industry Committee representative of the national television stations and private networks, advertising agencies, advertisers' associations, media centres, the union of publishing houses and manufacturers.
Auditel called a tender for the measurement of the television audience of Italian people and AGB won this tender, though in competition with AC. Nielsen and Telecontrol.
In 1986 the panel included 600 households which grew, step by step, up to 2,420 households.
In the same year AGB Italia and LCM Graman merged under the business name of AGB Italia and Alberto Colussi was appointed Managing Director of this new Company.