NEWS: BBC hits out at Rajar over system revamp

BBC Radio has slammed the new Rajar measurement system and is calling for a return to the old diary system until a workable alternative is found.

BBC Radio has slammed the new Rajar measurement system and is calling

for a return to the old diary system until a workable alternative is

found.



An emergency Rajar board meeting has been set for this week in an

attempt to thrash out the problems with the new methodology, highlighted

by the latest batch of Rajar results released last Friday.



The industry has been split by the latest figures, for the last quarter

of 1995, which do not compare like with like owing to the new

measurement methods in use.



Last Friday Rajar’s chief executive, Roger Gane, went so far as to warn

the industry against using the figures for detailed analysis of

stations’ performance, as the changes may have ‘distorted trends’.



Campaign now understands the BBC is lobbying to reintroduce the old

measurement system. The commercial radio sector is believed to be happy

with the new Personal Pre-List Diary (PPD) system, but may accept a

return to the old method providing the BBC alters its numerous marketing

areas which no longer fit on to the old diary sheets.



The row initially blew up last November following changes to the diary

methodology. The new PPD method replaced pre-listed services with a

sheet of labels from which respondents created their own list.



However, early results revealed weekly reach for almost all stations was

much lower than that measured under the old system because lighter

listeners weren’t being picked up.



Denise Clark, head of radio at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, said: ‘We were

led to believe that total listening was down, but this suggests it has

gone up. We’re none the wiser.’



Top-line results indicate that the total number of listeners to radio

was up, from 40.4 million to 40.6 million.



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