The RAB Board of Directors has passed a resolution enhancing Radio’s accountability that includes recommended selling and schedule verification guidelines (posting) to create a stronger relationship with advertisers and accommodate the diverse and highly targeted nature of the radio industry.
Endorsed at the semi-annual Board meeting in LA last week, the resolution aims to put to rest the debate for posting in Radio and instead focuses on delivering an outline for sound business principles and practices that will benefit Radio’s standing in the media space.
Radio broadcasters will now guarantee the GRP delivery of a schedule on a market basis, based on total audience delivered by the end of the schedule.
Advertisers and broadcasters will agree on posting criteria before a schedule runs, including the verification of audience delivery and the accepted margin of error. Audience Estimates and post-buy analysis should be based on the broadest, most stable data available—we assume whether that is PPM or diary.
Broadcasters will also be accountable for makegoods if the market delivery falls below previously agreed criteria. Posting could begin as soon as late this year.
Marc Goldstein, GroupM North America CEO, tells RBR/TVBR that this is a step in the right direction. “There are elements to this that we believe they should dialogue with us as advertisers/media agencies about. And they should remain flexible in the way they address some of these issues—makegoods for shortfall as an example. One of the concerns that we have is that we still buy on a station-by station basis, and from what I understand they are looking at doing these posts on a market basis.”
“This is the beginning of a longer process around gaining greater credibility for Radio,” says Jeff Haley, RAB CEO. “We will work closely with the buying community and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA’s) to develop and refine our proposal into a set of sound business practices that will enhance advertisers’ confidence in Radio while protecting our industry.”
The practices proposal:
“Posting” has long been a subject of contentious debate in the Radio industry. While Print, TV, and other media have accepted practices for reconciling media purchases with actual delivery, Radio has not established such a practice. The development of more stable measurement technology and the greater call for accountability mandate the need for an industry wide business practice. Radio advertisers have always received fair treatment from broadcasters but have not had the benefit of verification or a make good guarantee that other media have provided. Advertisers and their agencies are now held to greater accountability standards due to company specific and certain regulatory oversight of their media investments. No single approach to reconciling a Radio buy will stand for all transactions. The nature of Radio is diverse and highly targeted. As a result, any proposed posting approach will have to be unique to each Radio schedule and adhere to standard principles and guidelines as opposed to a rigid step by step policy.
Radio Broadcasters stand behind their commitments to Advertisers.
Radio Schedules will air with the highest degree of accuracy possible at all times.
Broadcasters will resolve shortfalls in audience delivery or schedule criteria as agreed upon with Advertisers prior to the start of a schedule.
Goal of stability, reliability and sound business practice will guide all transactions.
Advertisers and Broadcasters will aim to reduce statistical error through aggregating audience measurement (multi-book; multi-month averaging), expanding demographic targets, and lengthening delivery timeframes.
Radio Broadcasters will guarantee the GRP delivery of a schedule on a market basis, based on total audience delivered by the end of the schedule.
Advertisers and Radio Broadcasters will agree on posting criteria before a schedule runs, including the verification of audience delivery and the accepted margin of error.
Audience Estimates and post-buy analysis should be based on the broadest, most stable data available.
Radio Broadcasters will be accountable proportionally for make-goods if the market delivery falls below previously agreed criteria.
The advertiser/agency post buy analysis should be conducted within 90 days of the conclusion of the schedule. Any necessary makegood weight will be delivered within 60 days of completed post analysis and advertiser /agency request.
RBR/TVBR observation: We hope they will soon detail how this will all be done at the station. Software companies will likely have to develop new programming to implement posting, so as not to make posting an administrative nightmare. At least some of the criteria has been established. The rest will have to be hammered out as things move forward—including posting on a station-by station basis or market basis, as Goldstein points out. Also, how can many small market broadcasters issue guarantees via posting to advertisers without ratings numbers?