Arbitron pitches PPM samples success


Arbitron has already installed more PPM households in the New York market for its pre-currency launch than its target and yesterday reported some success with on ongoing efforts to improve in-tab performance in the two existing PPM markets, Houston and Philadelphia. New materials are coming out soon to try to help advertisers understand the metrics of PPM vs. diary, but folks from Arbitron are again talking about a likely one-year transition period for each new PPM market.

"Much like television experienced five years ago, with the transition from diary to meters, when you have this transition ratings go down, gross rating points and cost-per-points have to be readjusted, much as if you would go through a currency conversion," said Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron’s President of Sales and Marketing.

A number of agency people were on the client call, which followed the press briefing, and Arbitron Radio Advisory Council Chairman Steve Sinicropi from Cox Radio told RBR that they had basically the same sort of questions as broadcasters – trying to get their arms around the new data – and that the issue of how to adjust pricing didn’t come up. Arbitron said a new brochure is coming out soon, which agencies have welcomed as a way to introduce advertisers to how PPM is different from diary measurement. Also, the promised ads begin running next week in advertising trade magazines pitching the basic conversion that 70 GRP under PPM can equal 100 GRP under diary ratings. How will Arbitron determine if it is successful in getting its message across, RBR asked? In addition to talking with clients, Bouvard said Arbitron subscribes to data from a 3rd part collector on market-by-market, demo-by-demo CPP.

The August figures revealed some progress on improving in-tab performance and a client call is being planned soon on the money-back guarantee Arbitron has agreed to if it doesn’t hit targets. "I don’t think anyone is going to be happy with it until it’s where it’s supposed to be," said Sinicropi, calling the August improvement "modest." He’s hoping for more when the September data comes out, since Arbitron will have had more time to show results from its efforts to weed out people who aren’t carrying their PPM devices regularly and increase representation of hard-to-recruit demos.