There was, of course, no confirmation that the Media Rating Council MRC has moved to withdraw PPM accreditation in Houston and that Arbitron is appealing through the MRC’s secret proceedings, but Arbitron President, Technology, Research & Development, Owen Charlebois told reporters that the company is still using the panel recruitment methodology in Houston which won it MRC accreditation nearly a year ago.
Philadelphia and New York, which have not won accreditation, are using a different method which Arbitron hopes to use in all PPM markets. The address-based Houston methodology costs more because when phone calls and mailings fail to make contact, Arbitron sends someone out to knock on the door. That does, indeed, result in a higher acceptance rate to participate in the PPM panel, but Charlebois said that is a two-edged sword, since it also results in a poorer compliance rate when the PPM equipment is installed.
RBR observation: Mark your calendars. The next monthly PPM conference calls are set for January 3rd. Will Arbitron still be able to say then that PPM is accredited by MRC in Houston? If it can’t resolve the issue in Houston and somehow move on to get accreditation in Philadelphia and then New York, how is delaying the rest of the roll-out a few months going to help?