MacKenzie dismisses Rajar announcement

Kelvin MacKenzie, the chairman and chief executive of TalkSport-owner Wireless Group, has dismissed Rajar’s announcement that four new – but unnamed – contenders will provide its electronic audience measurement technology.

MacKenzie describes Rajar’s announcement this week that it is looking at four new options for electronic audience measurement as the “same old flannel”, because Rajar would not reveal the names of those involved.

Rajar claims that the companies have asked it not to reveal their identities.

MacKenzie adds that it is pointless to announce that new meters have come to light if they do not reveal who the makers are. “How can we take it seriously if we don’t know who they are?” he asks.

Rajar, which is the joint BBC and commercial radio audience measurement body, says the four new entrants are in various stages of development and “offer interesting new dimensions to the current debate”, but will not reveal any further information.

Rajar managing director Sally de la Bedoyere says the newcomers will not delay the testing timetable, which is due to start this summer. However, she adds that the tests will not begin until GfK, the wristwatch manufacturer, and Arbitron, maker of the pager, are both ready.

The Wireless Group believes the GfK wristwatch system could be implemented immediately and it is involved in legal proceedings against Rajar. The company is claiming that Rajar’s decision not to adopt electronic measurement is unlawful and is suing the group for £66m in lost earnings (MW March 18).

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