Arbitron's sampling methodology is FAR more important than Mr or MrsDePetro's misdeeds

Chuck Igo
Fri Aug 22 11:36:34 EDT 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan.Strassberg" <>
Subject: Arbitron's sampling methodology is FAR more important than Mr or 
MrsDePetro's misdeeds

> Why is everyone giving Arbitron a free pass on this fiasco? Let's
> assume that whoever falsified his or her identity for the purposes of
> the survey was smart enough to give an address with a different
> "apartment number" for each of the six "people" who received a diary.
> That would still mean that Arbitron provided diaries to six "people"
> who lived in what Arbitron would have had to believe was one building
> (a six-unit apartment building that was, in fact, a single-family
> house). It makes no sense that Arbitron should have furnished diaries
> to six people who lived in the same building--even if the company
> honstly believed that each one lived in a different apartment and thus
> that no two were members of the same household.
>  (snip)

Dan -  if i were not broadcast/media affiliated, my household has 6 people 
over the age of 12.  if we were willing and qualified to be a "diary 
household," it seems to me we would not be precluded.  and like anyone who 
has done a diary review in Maryland will tell you, there are a good chunk of 
those things that filled out in the same handwriting for several days at a 
time.  Maybe the head-of-household takes the time to try to make sure the 
diaries are return with at least something written in them - especially when 
the novelty of doing this has worn off for the remainder of the household 
after 2 weeks of dutiful tracking.

the "different apartment numbers" is another issue.  why would the company 
allow one person to speak for 5 (or 50) other residents in a single 
"apartment" building.  that portion of your question does beg some 
discourse.  although i have not personally seen any explanation of this mess 
that illustrated, as fact, 6 diaries for 6 separate apartments in one 
building.  i have seen 6 diaries for one address duly noted in just about 
every account of the story.

yes - the system does leave some things to be desired.  but, like it or not, 
they are the company that has been issuing the listening estimates for the 
better part of 4 decades now.  the newer technologies won't make it any 
better, either.  the PPM will be designed to track the signals of stations 
being monitored.  so how do they explain 9 or 10 non-stop hours of listening 
to one station when they do not realize the PPM was left on the kitchen 
counter next to the small radio that is left "on" during the day to either 
keep the household pets company or to give the impression that someone is 

just sayin' that there are flaws in every system - but 6 people at one 
address does not an exclusion make.

--Chuck Igo
(yes, i leave the radio on the for the dog in the kitchen.  occasionally, i 
let Lilo the cocker spaniel win one of the morning contests, but only if she 
is the 10th caller) 

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