Arbitron settles PPM lawsuit by California AG


ArbitronArbitron announced that it has come to terms with one of the state attorneys general who filed suit over its Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings methodology. The settlement is with the Attorney General of California, along with the city attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The settlement settles a lawsuit filed just last week in a California state court in San Francisco relating to the marketing and commercialization of PPM in Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California.

As part of the settlement, Arbitron has agreed to continue a number of measures which the ratings company describes as “already an integral part of the company’s current PPM methodology and of its continuous improvement program for the Portable People Meter ratings services in all markets.” These measures include the already completed transition to address-based sample frames, cell-phone-only sampling rates, reporting country of origin for Hispanic households and certain other sample performance and demographic information to subscribers by individual zip code, continuing efforts to maintain or achieve specific in-tab rates and Sample Performance Indicators, the company said.

And, of course, Arbitron pledged to continue its commitment to using all reasonable measures to achieve Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for the data produced by the PPM ratings service in all California markets. Riverside-San Bernardino was one of the PPM markets which recently lost its MRC accreditation. The other California markets have never won accreditation.

“These commitments are generally consistent with the company’s agreements with other states and are in force through December 31, 2014, or until MRC accreditation is granted, whichever comes first,” Arbitron said of the settlement. Arbitron also agreed to pay a total of $400,000 in settlement of all claims and costs.