Responding to the blistering attack from Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil (8/2/07 RBR #150), Arbitron notes that is has provided training on Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings to hundreds and hundreds of agency buyers, planners and managers. By the numbers, Arbitron says it conducted about 200 training session in 2006 (stations and agencies combined), about 240 station training sessions and nearly 200 agency training sessions in the first six months of 2007, with most in Houston and Philadelphia, the first two markets to go live with PPM. Thus far, some 234 planner buyers, 284 media planners, 701 media buyers and 451 agency managers have attended Arbitron PPM training sessions.
"All those facts aside: Training the agencies does not preclude them from testing radio to see if they can get lower prices. How radio responds to this pressure will be important to the outcome," said Arbitron Sr. VP of Press and Investor Relations Thom Mocarsky.
SmartMedia observation: This disagreement is no doubt going to drag on for some time. After reading of Arbitron's training claims in yesterday afternoon's MBR, Neil emailed RBR his view that, "unfortunately if they produced these numbers the same way they've been handling their sample sizes, it's probably about half of that and they weighted them up."