MacArthur urges advertisers to back Rajar over measurements

Douglas MacArthur, the Radio Advertising Bureau's chief executive, has defended the research body Rajar over electronic measurement.

The Wireless Group's chief executive, Kelvin MacKenzie, attacked Rajar last week for launching a second period of testing for two electronic measurement systems. He accused Rajar of kicking the issue "into the long grass" and of unnecessary delays that were costing him money.

MacArthur believes Rajar is right to insist on further tests of the Arbitron and Radiocontrol systems and wrote to advertisers and agencies expressing his support for it.

"Rajar has budgeted a further £500,000 to test the second generation as soon as they are available. Although I am not a member of the Rajar board, I have no doubt that it is acting sensibly given the test results," MacArthur wrote.

He outlined that the results of Rajar's first period of testing of the meters, which could potentially replace the existing diary system, showed differences of up to 600 per cent in individual station measurements between meters and an overall difference of more than a third in hours listened.

"I support the Rajar board's decision. This decision wasn't, as some suggest, a stitch-up by the big boys of commercial radio. I understand that this was a unanimous decision by the whole Rajar board, including BBC Radio, the IPA and ISBA," he concluded.

MacArthur suggested advertisers "hurry along" Rajar with the next stage of development, but pointed out that it had already earmarked more than £1 million for testing and development.

- Behind the hype, p10.

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