The Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil suggests that the big players in New York need to stand up to Arbitron, perhaps by pulling the plug on PPM encoders until it wins MRC accreditation. “We’ll find out how much backbone the leaders of our industry really have now,” Neil told RBR, “Do they allow a system that has received a failing grade to go forward in the biggest markets in America, or will they draw the line and say, ‘No more until we know this data is good’?”
Long a critic of PPM, Neil says the already delayed rollout should be put on hold until MRC accreditation is forthcoming. “When they launched PPM, Arbitron promised us a product that was ready to go. The sample miscues have proven it wasn’t. When we suggested that they needed to get MRC accreditation for the new methodology they were using beyond Houston, they told us not to worry. Well, it’s time for advertisers and broadcasters to worry, and realize the hollowness of any Arbitron promise. PPM rollout should not continue until we know the methodology has been approved by MRC. To do otherwise would mean that advertisers and broadcasters do not have the assurance that this is accurate or good research. If the research is bad, the decisions made off of it will be bad for advertisers and broadcasters,” Neil said.
WBEB-FM Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee takes a different view. “Arbitron is working feverishly to get PPM right in NY and Philly. I am willing to cut them some slack,” he said.
RBR sought comment from some other broadcast executives as well. A couple declined and we had not heard back from the others by the close of business Friday. What do you think? Send your opinion to [email protected] and, if possible, send a photo of yourself as well.