TfL keeps faith with GfK data collection for radio campaign

Transport for London (TfL) will continue to use data from GfK Media’s broadcast survey to plan a second radio campaign, despite the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch being dropped from Rajar’s electronic meter tests last month.

TfL is planning to use the wristwatch data for a second campaign, after trialling it for a road safety campaign in January 2004. TfL marketing director Chris Townsend says that he will look at any alternative to Rajar that may help him spend his budget more effectively, as it is public money.

The first tests, carried out by TfL media agency PHD and marketing research agency NOP, suggested that the GfK data was more effective. However, the wristwatch is no longer being tested by Rajar after a second round of tests showed that it was less accurate than the Arbitron Portable People Meter and the Eurisko Media Monitor (MW February 17).

The tests show that the watch only recorded 32 per cent of listening occasions compared with 59 per cent for the Eurisko meter. GfK does not agree with the results of the tests and is still working with Rajar, which hopes to introduce electronic audience measurement by 2007.

Following the results of the second round of tests, The Wireless Group chairman and chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie has reignited his row with Rajar by demanding that it admits that the diary system underestimates the number of listeners to his national commercial station, TalkSport (MW last week).

However, Marketing Week has learned that Rajar’s first round of tests, carried out in 2003, revealed that reach was higher on both meters for a number of stations, and not just TalkSport. One of the meters also showed that 60 per cent of TalkSport’s listeners are female. Another meter found that the UK’s biggest commercial station was a newly launched station that was only available on DAB radio.

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