Janice Finkel-Greene, Initiative Media EVP/Local Broadcast and EVP/Director Futures and Technology, also responded to RBR over yesterday’s concerns from Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil over Arbitron’s PPM ratings system at his Q3 conference call (11/7/07 RBR #218).
On the "Arbitron was selling snake oil when they were trying to get everyone to sign up for this" comment:
"Agencies have been dealing with LPM from television since 2002. This is not our first dance. We are very comfortable with these kinds of transitions. We never claimed it was a one-time only adjustment. It takes time to adjust all of your clients, all of your demographics, and to make them suitable to the criteria for each client as well. So I don’t know why somebody that does business with agencies on a regular basis wouldn’t pick up the phone and ask us what we’ve learned about LPM and how we think PPM will go. The agency side never pretended it would be a walk in the park, but it’s not a walk in the jungle, either."
On the "tremendous amount of chaos at the agencies comment:
"Well, you could call it chaos. I would call it analysis, experimentation and general learnings from new and interesting data. I don’t see any reason why we should have some uniform approach. People don’t ask salespeople to find a uniform approach in selling. You’re allowed to sell your station any way you see fit-to put your own spin on it. And agencies should feel free to combine the data, analyze it and make judgments about it-especially with something so new-any way they think helps them do a better job for their clients."
On the it doesn’t bode well for revenue comment:
"Well, we have no evidence that a change in methodology really drives revenue. I’ve been studying the LPMs for a long time and I’ve never found the launch of an LPM market in any way affecting that particular market’s revenue. Particular stations, yes, but not overall spending. I tracked Houston and Philly-yes it’s a much shorter track–and found no difference either. I was using TNS/MI data. So when spending is down across the Top 25 radio markets, it went down in Philly and Houston as well. Some stations were up, some were down. It seems logical during a period of adjustment that should happen anyway."
She concluded, "Could Arbitron do a better job? Yes. I think they’d agree. Are they going to try We all hope so-that’s what we have the MRC for."