TV companies force RAB retraction

The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has admitted making an embarrassing “inadvertent misrepresentation” when it said that people are spending more hours listening to radio than watching TV when it released the Rajar figures two weeks ago.

The RAB back-tracked on its claim after Carlton Media Sales chief executive Martin Bowley fired off letters to media agencies and RAB, rebutting the body’s assertion.

When the Rajar figures were released last month, RAB and the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) claimed the results showed that “average listening hours per day (3.48) exceed the time people spend watching television (3.46 hours a day, according to BARB April to June 2001)”.

But Carlton, along with the rest of the TV industry, including Granada Enterprises, is up in arms over the claim, which they say is incorrect as the RAB and CRCA did not compare the two media on a like-for-like basis.

RAB has issued a statement admitting that it compared media consumption for “two different definitions of people” – the over-15s for radio, and those aged four or more for TV. TV experts claim that children watch less TV than adults.

Bowley says: “TV is very powerful and I’m not prepared to see its name battered like that. We have made our point and RAB has been very gracious in issuing a correction.”

RAB says that radio listening is still increasing and that since 1999 radio listening hours per head have increased by 13.5 per cent to 2.97 per day, while TV’s hours per head have declined by 11.5 per cent to 3.46 per day over the same period.

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