Reaction To PPM Delay Continues
November 27, 2007 at 5:55 PM (PT)
While many view the announcement by ARBITRON Chairman/President & CEO STEVE MORRIS to delay the commercialization of PPM in a number of new markets (NET NEWS 11/26) as a prudent measure to regroup, and fix what ails the PPM sample, and other issues, COX RADIO President/CEO BOB NEIL doesn't let him off that easily.
"Like most things involving ARBITRON, the devil is in the details. There are a lot of questions raised by their announcement. Personally, I don't think it makes sense to announce any timetable. What should drive this is getting the data right, and getting MRC accreditation.
Personally, I don't think it makes sense to announce any timetable. What should drive this is getting the data right, and getting MRC accreditation.
While some people were willing to let them launch PHILLY with the promise that accreditation would be done quickly, I'm not ready to see them resume the rollout anywhere else until they have an accredited service. Their promises turned out to be worthless. We trusted them once, so shame on them. But, if we trust them twice ... shame on us.
NEIL added, "It’s sad because this botched rollout didn't have to happen if they had listened to people that told them in all sincerity that they weren't ready. In the end, the Twin Pillars of Failure 'Arrogance and Incompetence' caught up with them."
In a press statement, UNIVISION RADIO applauded ARBITRON's decision. "We are pleased ARBITRON has recognized the deficiencies in the PPM sample and has delayed the start of the service while improving the samples in key markets, including NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO and DALLAS. We look forward to working with ARBITRON on the research and business issues related to the PPM service, as they work to ensure their ratings are accurate.
"As the nation’s sole radio monitoring service, listeners, advertisers, stations and networks all rely on ARBITRON’s measurement. We commend their responsibility in addressing issues with the sample before launching the PPM service any further. ARBITRON must also commit to making improvements in HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA samples since the flawed PPM data is the only currency available in those markets."
Does PPM Have MRC Issues?
What was STEVE MORRIS referring to in his statement yesterday about MRC? "However, over the past three weeks, feedback from our customers, the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL and other constituencies has led us to conclude that the radio industry would be better served if we were to delay further commercialization of the PPM in order to address their issues."
He also noted, "We expect that the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL will be a particularly valuable source of guidance and advice on the more technically oriented aspects of this review and improvement process and we intend to work closely with the members of the MRC over the next several months."
In ARBITRON's Forward-Looking Statements it notes as a final item: "successfully obtain and/or maintain MEDIA RATING COUNCIL accreditation for our audience measurement services".
ALL ACCESS wonders aloud if there is suddenly an issue with MRC accreditation in HOUSTON or, if under present circumstance the MRC wouldn't give its blessings to ongoing PPM market PHILADELPHIA, and now-delayed NEW YORK, NASSAU-SUFFOLK and MIDDLESEX-SOMERSET-UNION, LOS ANGELES, RIVERSIDE. CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO, SAN JOSE and DALLAS markets?
ARBITRON ADVISORY COUNCIL Chairman and COX/GREENVILLE VP/GM STEVE SINICROPI did refer to the lack of MRC accreditation in his remarks last week (NET NEWS 11/22):
"The COUNCIL demanded MRC accreditation for PPM prior to roll out of HOUSTON as currency. This was a line in the sand. Because of the differences in methodology for all markets other than HOUSTON, the COUNCIL asked for MRC accreditation in PHILADELPHIA prior to release as currency. ARBITRON unilaterally decided that an MRC audit was satisfactory for PHILADELPHIA prior to release as currency. ARBITRON positioned the methodological differences between HOUSTON and PHILADELPHIA as a more of a tweak than a major change, and assured the COUNCIL that concerns over differences were unwarranted. Obviously, ARBITRON was wrong."