Waiting for the uptrend


A week ago RBR/TVBR quoted Arbitron Chief Research Officer Bob Patchen in the monthly PPM client call noting that 18-24 participation in the Philadelphia PPM panel dropped in March as the company focused on boosting 25-34 numbers. “We’re pretty confident it’s going to be temporary,” he said, adding that both trends were moving up. (4/28/08 RBR #83) So, where is the evidence of that 18-24 recovery?

Ever helpful consultant Randy Kabrich supplied us with data for the first week of April, showing that there were fewer 18-24 year olds in the Philly PPM panel – fewer Women 18-24 and fewer Men 18-24 – than the previous week, or any week the previous two months.

We asked Arbitron what Patchen was talking about when he said that both demos were trending higher, but didn’t get much of a response, except a reiteration from VP Thom Mocarsky of his earlier memo that the company is trying to manage all demos closer to target. But that didn’t address the question of what Patchen meant when he said in the client call that both 18-24 and 25-34 participation were trending up in Philadelphia.

RBR/TVBR observation: Week two of April data should come out today for Philly. So, we’ll be looking again to see if the down trend for 18-24 has indeed been reversed.