Buyers slate NRS samples’ size and quality

Media buyers have hit out at the National Readership Survey (NRS) after it decided against publishing its first set of figures for the London freesheets, with one buyer calling for the readership survey to be scrapped.

Buyers want the NRS to look at fresh ways of improving the number and quality of its sample size, citing its ability to interview only 15 readers of thelondonpaper in January as derisory.

The figures will now be released on September 13, when extra data will be available, but one media buyer says the NRS “needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century”.

Paul Thomas, head of press at MindShare, says: “The NRS needs to look at how to improve the numbers and quality of its sample size, because it’s still not working.”

Alex Randall, head of press at Vizeum agrees, and questions whether people “still want to fill out forms” and has called on the NRS to offer more than £25 to those who take part in the self-completion questionnaires.

Others, including Rob Lynam, account director at Mediaedge:cia, say the NRS should look at reducing the duration of its interviews. He adds: “People have to give up a lot of time” to take part.

In particular, buyers say it needs to find better ways of reaching the ABC1 under-35s audience.

Roger Pratt, NRS managing director, though says the problem of attracting a high response rate is endemic to London, irrespective of the survey.

The NRS is introducing means of attracting new respondents and Pratt argues that its decision to offer financial incentives for completing questionnaires has upped its response rate by 5%.

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