Potential Implications If Clear Channel Doesn't Encode In Philly
January 17, 2007 at 5:49 AM (PT)
ARBITRON's PPM demonstration period began last week (NET NEWS 1/11), and the clock continues to tick onward with no apparent end to CLEAR CHANNEL's holdout decision to be the only broadcaster in the PHILADELPHIA market not to encode. What are the possible ramifications for CLEAR CHANNEL and advertisers?
ALL ACCESS asked that of CARAT USA EVP/Dir. Local Broadcast MARY BARNAS. She and her agency advise such high-end radio clients as HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, PETCO, JENNY CRAIG, KIA, ADIDAS, LIFETIME, VIACOM NETWORKS, MIDAS, and O'REILLY AUTOPARTS -- to name but a few.
Clear Channel's decision could affect the entire marketplace as clients may want to find alternatives to radio in Philly.
BARNAS, who is also an ARBITRON AGENCY ADVISORY COUNCIL member, told ALL ACCESS, "If CLEAR CHANNEL still chooses not to encode, there will be no ratings available for that cluster in PHILADELPHIA. Our frustration is that it costs CLEAR CHANNEL nothing to encode, and if they continue on their present course, they won't be rated. The currency we use in local broadcast advertising is cost per point. It's how radio advertising is planned and bought. It will be just like they will not exist. They are trying to change what's happened for the last 60 years."
How will this ripple affect her clients? "We will have to speak to every client and explain that there are some strong stations we cannot price on a cost-per-point basis. I won't recommend that we buy on cost per spot. I've been very frank with [CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO Regional President] BOB McCURDY about this -- and they still have time to do encoding before MARCH 8. CLEAR CHANNEL's decision could affect the entire marketplace as clients may want to find alternatives to radio in PHILLY.
"I believe that PPM, while not perfect, is a big step in the right direction. PPM is clearly superior to the diary system and will show a station's real reach. CLEAR CHANNEL has been a leader in calling for change, but their actions are the antithesis of this. I hope that they will eventually encode."
No comment from CLEAR CHANNEL so far.