Arbitron Agency Advisory Council meets on PPM

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The Arbitron Agency Advisory Council also met last week regarding the latest issues and disagreements on PPM. Brad Adgate, SVP/Research, Horizon Media, tells RBR they looked at various initiatives to boost the 18-34 response/in-tab sample. He said Arbitron still has the support of all of the ad agencies.


On the PPM rollout delays for nine markets, Adgate said: “I think they could have gone forward with this and they chose not to do that. I think they didn’t want to open themselves up to criticism. They decided to take the high road, do their due diligence and work on various initiatives to improve their response level for 18-34s.”

He said a lot of the data Arbitron presented made sense. They showed various presentations of the audience numbers with PPM in Philly, NYC and Houston. A lot of the data was intuitive—like how people listen to radio. He said he expects by the latter half of this year they will be rolling out in NY, LA and the adjacent metros. “Nielsen did the same thing with LPM.”

We asked about the near-revolt with some broadcasters over PPM lately. Are agencies getting concerned?
Said Adgate: “Arbitron issued a statement that they still have the support of the radio stations. The advertisers want this type of more granular methodology than diaries, and that’s what the 20 billion dollars resides with.”

He said in the session they had with the radio stations last week, things were very cordial and respectful. There was good dialogue and the stations listened to the advertisers and marketers. “I said this [Thursday]: The radio group [at the meeting] really is very passionate about their medium, and yet we have to look at things in a more macromedia sense. This is happening in television and print too—there are more granular and changes in methodology in all media, in fact.” He added, “It’s not like radio is getting picked on. I think going forward, using a diary has served its purpose. I think Arbitron is taking this a step at a time. It’s a big change, a very aggressive rollout schedule they announced—maybe it was too aggressive.”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.