New York And Philly PPM Accreditation Denied
February 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM (PT)
THE MEDIA RATINGS COUNCIL is denying accreditation to ARBITRON's PPM service in two markets, after completing their audit of PORTABLE PEOPLE METER methodology and deployment in NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA.
The information became public in a FEBRUARY 28th Form 10-K filing with the SEC.
It reads, "We [ARBITRON] are committed to obtaining and maintaining MRC accreditation in each United States local market where we commercialize our PPM service. As we have previously announced, we are also committed to completing the MRC audit of our PPM service, sharing the results of the audit with the MRC PPM audit subcommittee, and producing two months of “pre-currency” demonstration data in each United States local market prior to commercializing our PPM service in that market. On the basis of an MRC audit of the Philadelphia PPM methodology and execution completed in 2007, the sharing of the results of such audit with the MRC’s PPM audit subcommittee, and the completion of a two-month pre-currency period for training and electronic measurement transition, in March 2007, we replaced our diary-based ratings service with our PPM ratings service in Philadelphia as the currency for radio advertising transactions. Following review of the results of the audits and our replies to the MRC’s follow-up queries, the MRC subsequently denied accreditation of the PHILADELPHIA local market PPM ratings service in JANUARY 2008."
Where was Arbitronâ??s new policy of â??open communicationâ?? on this? We had to wait for their SEC filing to find out?
Then, "In 2007 the MRC also completed an audit of the NEW YORK local market PPM methodology and execution, and the results of that audit were shared with the MRC PPM audit subcommittee in late 2007. The MRC subsequently denied accreditation of the NEW YORK local market PPM ratings service in JANUARY 2008."
The full 10-K document can be viewed here.
Bob Neil Vents
COX Pres./CEO BOB NEIL commented, "When they launched PPM, ARBITRON promised us a product that was ready to go. The sample miscues have proven it wasn’t. When we suggested that they needed to get MRC accreditation for the new methodology they were using beyond HOUSTON, they told us not to worry. Well, it’s time for advertisers and broadcasters to worry, and realize the hollowness of any ARBITRON promise. PPM rollout should not continue until we know the methodology has been approved by MRC. To do otherwise would mean that advertisers and broadcasters do not have the assurance that this is accurate or good research. If the research is bad, the decisions made off of it will be bad for advertisers and broadcasters.”
NEIL asks, "Where was ARBITRON’s new policy of ‘open communication’ on this? We had to wait for their SEC filing to find out? That’s totally irresponsible and once again, ARBITRON spins things like ‘open communication’ and then does this. It’s an insult to every customer they have in the advertising community to blindside them with this. ARBITRON has been saying the MRC is mysterious, and they don’t know where they stand. This makes it pretty clear: Failure. That’s where they stand.”
MRC Makes Public Statement
The MRC posted this on their website this afternoon:
After careful consideration of the available information, the audit committee voted not to grant accreditation to the PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK PPM Services at this time and to conclude the 2007 audits. Moving forward the MRC will be assessing the impact of ARBITRON's planned initiatives for improving panel results in these markets to eventually enable successful completion of the accreditstion process. As part of the accreditation process a new audit will be required in 2008. These conclusions were recently ratified by both the MRC Radio Committee and the MRC Board of Directors.