New Jersey AG Subpoenas Arbitron Over PPM
September 15, 2008 at 3:26 PM (PT)
The NEW JERSEY Attorney General has subpoenaed ARBITRON regarding allegations that the PPM is flawed, statistically unreliable and undercounts the listening habits of minority consumers. The probe is being conducted by the AG's Affirmative Litigation Unit within the Division of Law.
The subpoena, issued by AG ANNE MILGRAM, asks for "documents concerning the sampling of ARBITRON's PPM system in HOUSTON, PHILADELPHIA and New JERSEY markets, submissions by ARBITRON to the MEDIA RATINGS COUNCIL regarding accreditation, and correspondence between ARBITRON and advertisers or radio broadcasters regarding implementation of PPM."
NEW JERSEY is the second state to look into the PPM. NEW YORK AG ANDREW CUOMO was the first (NET NEWS, 9/9).
Menendez Cheers Action
The action was quickly endorsed by U.S. Sen. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ), who as co-chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, recently held a forum on the concerns of the PPM system. He issued his own statement:
Radio stations are important parts of every community, and systematically inaccurate listenership numbers for any particular community affects the type of news and information that people should be able to rely on. Stations that broadcast into minority communities often provide a lifeline of information that those communities otherwise might not get. They provide content, views and values that are particularly important to those communities and often do so in languages that otherwise might be left off the airwaves. When we talk about these outlets, we’re not just talking about broadcasters, we’re talking about advocates -- advocates our communities depend on. This is why we are so concerned about the rollout of the personal people meter.
I wholeheartedly applaud Attorney General MILGRAM for confronting the questions about this system and searching for answers. I also applaud the NEW YORK City Council for understanding the importance of this issue and for being proactive. At the very least, it is critical that ARBITRON provide a service that accurately and consistently measures listening preferences and habits of all audiences regardless of color, race, gender, culture or socioeconomic status. There is simply too much at stake for too many underserved communities."