Cox and Inner City demand PPM get accreditation


“Would you fly on an airplane that wasn’t FAA certified?” Cox Radio and ICBC Broadcast Holdings (better known as Inner City) asked yesterday in an open letter to the radio industry posted on and other sites. The two companies are asking fellow broadcasters to back them in insisting that Arbitron get MRC accreditation for PPM’s current methodology in at least one market before continuing the rollout.

Why buy ads to make the point? “We just felt we needed to make our case in more detail.  We wanted to make sure people understood we are for electronic measurement, but we need to verify that the science is right,” said Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil. “We want people to be more engaged on this issue.  I think there’s a little bit of, ‘I don’t need to worry about this until it gets to my market.’  We need people in the industry to realize if we launch with a flawed PPM system, the consequences will be unpleasant to say the least,” Neil added. See the ad here. ICBC Broadcast Holdings President Charles Warfield was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

Arbitron isn’t backing off from its plan to resume the PPM rollout this fall, but reiterated that it, too, wants MRC accreditation for PPM. “Arbitron is committed to completing an MRC audit and a thorough review of that audit in each and every market before we commercialize electronic measurement. We are also committed to ultimately obtaining MRC accreditation for our currency services. These are the minimum standards put forth in the MRC’s own Draft Voluntary Code of Conduct.  These are the standards that we are following in order to advance the science of radio audience measurement so that radio can keep pace with the digital media environment,” said Thom Mocarsky, Senior Vice President, Press and Investor Relations.

RBR/TVBR observation: That double-check logo would do a lot to quiet the critics of PPM, but it may be a while before the MRC gives a thumbs up or down after the second audit of both the Philadelphia and New York markets. Failing the first go-round was a big set-back for Arbitron.