THIS WEEK: Rajar results rile agencies

The radio industry has come under fire after Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) released the latest set of listening figures - then warned they should not be used for detailed analysis by agencies and advertisers.

The radio industry has come under fire after Radio Joint Audience

Research (Rajar) released the latest set of listening figures - then

warned they should not be used for detailed analysis by agencies and

advertisers.



The dispute could hit the progress of commercial radio, which has won

the confidence of clients and agencies by shaking off its ‘2%’ media

tag, and took a record pounds 77.6m in ad revenue in the last quarter of

1995.



Last year commercial radio was the fastest-growing UK medium, taking in

more than pounds 270m in advertising, with more than a quarter of that

coming from the success of national stations such as Virgin and Classic

FM.



But the row over how Rajar figures are compiled is threatening to damage

radio’s credibility with media buyers and clients.



Rajar changed its methodology for the last quarter of 1995 and asked

50,000 survey participants to record their listening habits using

stickers instead of ticking windows in pre-printed diaries.



In the results, weekly reach estimates fell for almost all services,

particularly among light users.



Rajar executive director Roger Gane admitted the findings for that

quarter are skewed and he warned against using the figures for detailed

analysis.



Denise Clark, commercial radio manager at Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO, said:

‘The usefulness of this Rajar report is limited without accurate

comparisons.’



David Fletcher director of radio at CIA Medianetwork said: ‘I can accept

one set of figures that have limited value while Rajar is working out

its methodology, but it won’t be acceptable for the first quarter of

this year.’



Rajar will announce new research plans shortly.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

Commercial radio listening September 18 - December 17 1995

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Average hours    Average hours     Listening

                           per head      per listener      share (%)

All Commercial                9.2             14.4             49.7

All National Commercial       2.0              7.3             10.7

Atlantic 252                  0.6              6.3              3.3

Classic FM                    0.6              5.7              3.0

Talk Radio UK                 0.3              6.5              1.5

Virgin Radio (AM only)        0.5              7.4              2.9

All Local Commercial          7.2             13.9             39.1

All BBC                       8.7             14.2             47.2

Source: Rajar/RSL

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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