Arbitron responds to GAO probe of PPM


After first saying no comment to word of 10 Members of Congress requesting a GAO investigation of Arbitron’s PPM, the company has now issued a formal statement. In short, it says Arbitron is always happy to discuss PPM with anyone.

Here is the full statement from Arbitron:

“According to the website of the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, a group of ten members of Congress have requested that the Government Accountability Office study the Arbitron Portable People Meter and its ‘effect on advertising revenue streams for radio stations.’  Arbitron is and will continue to monitor the situation.

As always, Arbitron welcomes every opportunity to discuss the PPM technology, service and our sampling methodology. We continue to have a dialogue with key members of Congress as well as other interested parties, and look forward to helping the radio industry as a whole remain competitive in the current media marketplace.”

Arbitron then added a note that “The PPM radio audience estimates are currently used as the basis for buy/sell transactions of radio commercial time among subscribing stations, agencies and advertisers in 20 major US markets.”

Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski acknowledged in his quarterly conference call earlier this month that costs are rising as the company deals with scrutiny of PPM by the FCC, Congress and various state attorneys general. The company doesn’t know how much the litigation and lobbying will cost, but it is still holding to a prediction that earnings per share for 2009 will top 2008.