MRC withdraws accreditation in five PPM markets


Arbitron has been informed by the Media Rating Council (MRC) that it has withdrawn the accreditation of the monthly AQH radio ratings data produced by the PPM service in five markets: Cleveland, Portland OR, Riverside-San Bernardino, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.

Why? The MRC Accreditation Board reached this decision upon consideration of a recommendation from an MRC audit committee based on its review of the 2011 Arbitron PPM service audit results, which showed certain issues related to internal controls of the service and declines in service performance metrics.

Specifically, that means SPI (Sample Proportionality across age, race, ethnicity, etc.) and Tabulation Rates for the same groups above. Arbitron maintains internal processes and controls to maintain and maximize these performance metrics.  Sometimes these processes break down.

Says MRC Executive Director and CEO George Ivie: “Arbitron has committed to continue to work with us in the MRC’s ongoing audit and accreditation process for the PPM service and we will continue to monitor and evaluate their progress as they try to reach this goal. We look forward to a time when these and the other unaccredited PPM markets can receive MRC accreditation.”

Nine PPM markets remain accredited by MRC: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston (DMA), Kansas City, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and St. Louis. The MRC accreditation status in the remaining PPM markets is unchanged. Those 34 markets continue to be unaccredited.

Arbitron issued a response: “Consistent with our long-standing priorities, we will work to retain accreditation where we have it, to regain accreditation where it was withdrawn and to achieve accreditation in our remaining PPM markets,” said Gregg Lindner, executive vice president, Service Innovation and Chief Research Officer, Arbitron. “As always, we will continue our work with the MRC in order to address their concerns.”

Arbitron currently plans to have all 48 PPM markets undergo new MRC audits in 2012.