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“Arbitron-Rated #1 at Work”? I don’t think so.

Yesterday I was with an AC client in a market where they compete against a station that uses the phrase "Arbitron-rated #1 at Work." The competition is using this phrase to muddy the perceptual waters for my client who has been using virtually the same one.

Forget for a moment the wisdom – or lack thereof – of duking it out for ownership of this phrase. After all, we all know what’s at stake: Getting the term "Arbitron" on the air and implying category leadership. Simple as that.

But here’s the curious thing…

No matter which way we carve up the diaries we can’t seem to find even one configuration of diarykeepers which makes the competitor’s statement true.

Not one.

Now Arbitron has told me in no uncertain terms that using their name in vain (so to speak) when it comes to ratings must be supported by the evidence. But in this case, it’s not.

Well, report it to Arbitron, you might say. And indeed we did.

Result: A deaf ear.

This implies that Arbitron’s bark is far worse than its bite on this topic. It implies you can say pretty much whatever you want and reference Arbitron as the source and odds are good that, even if your competition does report you, Arbitron will ingore them.

Now if Arbitron is reading this and would like to know who the offending station is, get in touch with me and I’ll connect you directly with the violator.

But in the meantime, it seems to be open season on lying and feigning proof.


Your Arbitron-rated #1 Research Company

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