Rajar, the radio audience measurement body, has staged a dramatic U-turn
by ditching its new diary methodology and ordering a return to the
previous auditing system, at least until 1998.
It said it would continue working on a new measurement system to be
introduced after that date, which would take into account the ever
increasing number of radio services on air. However, some industry
sources believe BBC Radio may take this opportunity to strike out with
its own measurement system again.
To calm industry doubts, Rajar issued a statement last week. It said:
‘The Rajar board has decided to return to a ‘pre-list’ diary methodology
until September 1998 - the end of the current Rajar contract with RSL.’
The volte-face comes after pressure from BBC Radio, which last week
slammed the new Rajar methods and called for a return to the old system
(Campaign, 22 March).
The BBC became unhappy last November about leaked Rajar figures which
indicated that, under the new diary system, its reach had fallen across
In response to industry pressure, Rajar agreed to conduct parallel
esearch comparing the old-style diaries with the new ones.
However, the row blew up again following the late release of fourth
quarter figures two weeks ago, when Rajar warned agencies not to use the
results to analyse stations’ performances in detail.
An industry source said: ‘The BBC must rue the day it was obliged to
start doing joint press conferences and issuing joint press releases.’
Sue Farr, BBC Radio’s head of marketing and publicity, was unavailable
for comment as Campaign went to press.