Senator not satisfied on PPM assurances


Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) says Arbitron still needs to do more to make sure that Portable People Meter (PPM) measurement doesn’t negatively impact minority communities. He’s also miffed that Arbitron released to the press a letter it sent to Menendez – so he’s sent his own letter to the press.

Menendez told Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski that he appreciates the “productive steps” the company is taking in applying nationwide the terms of its settlements with the Attorneys General of three states – New York, New Jersey and Maryland. But the Senator says those settlements are just the “legal minimum” for improving PPM. “I do not believe that this is an acceptable standard of service,” he wrote.

Menendez did not spell out any specific changes that he wants Arbitron to make to PPM, but called on the company to continue to work with minority stakeholders to develop a “comprehensive solution” and also “work tirelessly” to obtain MRC accreditation in all markets.

“We wish to thank Senator Menendez for his continued interest in Arbitron, and, as promised, we welcome the opportunity to keep the Senator apprised of the company’s progress in our continuous improvement programs,” Skarzynski said in a statement sent to RBR/TVBR.

Read the letter from Sen. Menendez.

RBR/TVBR observation: Senator Menendez certainly has no expertise in the area of audience measurement. The FCC certainly has no expertise in the area of audience measurement. The Attorneys General of New York, New Jersey and Maryland certainly have no expertise in the area of audience measurement. Why on earth are all of these non-experts trying to micro-manage the methodology that Arbitron uses for PPM? The only qualified overseer is the Media Rating Council (MRC). Let the MRC do its job.