PPM Coalition Supports NY AG's Intent To Sue Arbitron
October 6, 2008 at 5:10 AM (PT)
As ALL ACCESS reported FRIDAY (NET NEWS 10/3), NEW YORK Attorney General ANDREW CUOMO has sent a letter to ARBITRON announcing his intention to sue the ratings company for launching the PPM, which it describes as "unlawful and deceptive acts and practices in which ARBITRON plans to engage, has engaged and/or continues to engage, and to obtain additional injunctive relief, penalties, damages and such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper." In its own prepared statment, ARBITRON was hardly intimidated by the lawsuit, which it intends to fight "vigorously" as the PPM rollout appears to go on as planned.
Arbitronâ??s PPM radio audience measurement system fails to accurately count minority listeners. The methodology that Arbitron is rolling out has not been accredited by the MRC in any market.
Over the weekend, the PPM COALITION, which is made up of the ASSOCIATION OF HISPANIC ADVERTISING AGENCIES, BORDER MEDIA PARTNERS, ENTRAVISION COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION, INNER CITY BROADCASTING, THE MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK OWNED BROADCASTERS, SBS RADIO, SPANISH RADIO ASSOCIATION and UNIVISION RADIO, released the following statement in support of CUMOM's actions:
We applaud NEW YORK STATE Attorney General ANDREW CUOMO for taking action to protect radio listeners from ARBITRON's new radio ratings system that undercounts the listening preferences of Hispanic, African American and other minorities.
ARBITRON’s PORTABLE PEOPLE METER (PPM) radio audience measurement system fails to accurately count minority listeners. The methodology that ARBITRON is rolling out has not been accredited by the MEDIA RATINGS COUNCIL (MRC), (which is the body that provides industry oversight of TV and Radio ratings companies), in any market. In fact NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA have been audited twice by the MRC and denied accreditation.
Numerous governmental, civil rights, industry associations and advertisers have raised grave concerns about the premature roll out, including the NEW YORK CITY Council; Senator RICHARD DURBIN; Senator DANIEL INOUYE; Senator PATRICK LEAHY; Senator ROBERT MENENDEZ; Senator BARACK OBAMA; Senator KEN SALAZAR; Attorney General of NEW JERSEY ANNE MILGRAM; House Small Business Committee Chair, Representative NYDIA VELAZQUEZ; Representative XAVIER BECERRA; Representative CHARLES GONZALEZ; Representative GENE GREEN; Representative RAUL GRIJALVA; Representative FRANK PALLONE; Representative HILDA SOLIS; and many other political, business, and civic leaders.
These organizations all recognize that the roll-out of the PPM before it is approved by the MRC will result in undercounting of minority radio listening, will severely harm media diversity, and ultimately will limit the variety of voices and viewpoints on our radio airwaves.
The PPM will disenfranchise minority communities and have a devastating impact on small businesses.
It is deeply disappointing that ARBITRON has chosen to ignore these concerns and press ahead with the roll-out of its deeply flawed PPM methodology.
Attorney General CUOMO’s actions are a welcome step to prevent ARBITRON from abusing its position as an unregulated monopoly service provider.
The PPM COALITION hopes that ARBITRON will respond to Attorney General CUOMO’s actions by voluntarily postponing the roll out of the PPM system until its flaws can be corrected. Should ARBITRON choose that constructive route, the members of the PPM COALITION are committed to working with ARBITRON to develop a system that will provide reliable ratings data.