Arbitron Holds PPM ConCall, Advisory Council ConCall Friday
September 12, 2007 at 5:09 PM (PT)
It's been quite a hectic day for the folks at ARBITRON.
After hosting the second in a series of PPM conference calls regarding the problematic PHILADELPHIA and HOUSTON PPM data, the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL set its own conference call for FRIDAY (9/14) to discuss ARBITRON's sample target guarantees and rebate program, and last but not least, ARBITRON resolved a nettlesome software issue with KATZ/CCR-branded rep firms.
ARBITRON SVP/Press And Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY opened the meeting with a reminder that ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL Chairman and COX/GREENVILLE VP/GM STEVE SINICROPI suggested these ongoing meetings to keep "transparancy" in the system.
Jay Guyther quickly addressed last month's unacceptable error, and explained it was not a software issue, but was a processor/staff error. Data was simply not loaded in.
SVP/PPM Marketing JAY GUYTHER quickly addressed last month's "unacceptable error," and explained it was "not a software issue, but was a "processor/staff error. Data was simply not loaded in."
In response to a question from ALL ACCESS, Chief Research Officer BOB PATCHEN explained the timeline in regards to last month's recall of the HOUSTON data. "We first heard about the problem at 11:30a TUESDAY. The data had been released at noon on MONDAY. Once we started looking into it, it took until 4p to discover the problem, and one day to rerun/reprocess the data. So the timeline was about 48 hours."
As part of an education campaign, ARBITRON is taking out ads next MONDAY in ADWEEK, BRANDWEEK and MEDIAWEEK to explain PPM to media buyers. The campaign will focus on "70PPM (Meter) GRP's Can Equal 100 Diary GRP's." There is also a publication reinforcing that information being distributed to agencies and radio.
Arbitron Advisory Council Conference Call Set For Friday
One of the questions being asked most by radio is ARBITRON's sample target guarantees and rebate program. SINICROPI told ALL ACCESS that there is a conference call set for FRIDAY (9/14) to discuss these issues. "This is an important call as we are going to take the input from radio subscribers and carry their questions and concerns back to ARBITRON, who is promising a response back in five business days.
"Again, I am urging radio to think about what questions they need answered and to reach out to anyone they choose on the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL." If you are looking for contact information for the ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL, just click here.
New PPM Software Issues Isolated To KATZ/CCR Rep Firm Offices
Meanwhile, new PPM software was sent out to agencies today functioned properly, and the problems that affected KATZ was not a widespread issue. According to MOCARSKY:
Fact #1: Based on what my Client Services group is telling me at 3:45pm, Only KATZ is affected.
Fact #2: The problem was caused when KATZ uninstalled the current version of the PPM Software prior to installing the new software.
This was contrary to our software update instructions. The update needed the old installation in place in order to properly install the updated application.
We sent KATZ documentation for backing up user\group setups and a document on how to fully reinstall PPM analysis tool. We are waiting to hear back from them.
So, the situation is this. The problem at KATZ is not the ARBITRON software, but a person at KATZ who did not follow our update instructions.
BTW, the software is functioning at other clients and processing analyses (especially those with audience share) much faster.
MOCARSKY updated ALL ACCESS with a report that KATZ had successfully reinstalled the HOUSTON PPM data, and that PHILADELPHIA was being restored.
Meanwhile, KATZ EVP/Strategic Planning & IT Services GERRY BOEHME told ALL ACCESS: "I don't agree with MOCARSKY's depiction of what happened and I will address this with ARBITRON. However, this is hardly an issue at all; it's a case of new software and data coming at the same time. There is weekly data coming on top of new software with many KATZ offices representing about 3,000 stations, working from a centralized data source. We normally load software and test it first, so it's a tough situation."
Outspoken consultant RANDY KABRICH told ALL ACCESS, "I was on with the ARBITRON SOFTWARE CSR late this afternoon (after being placed on queue for over 10 minutes) and the ARBITRON rep said it had been busier than normal because of the new PPM Software that wasn't received until today. I suppose people just called them up to say 'Just wanted to let you know it successfully installed?' I don't think so!!!
"SPRING books have been out for a few weeks, AUGUST ARBITRENDS are not released - only PPM - so why the wait on queue with their support personnel - and even the confirmation from the CSR's as to the activity if there were not other clients with issues? Hmmmmmm!"