Arbitron People Meter Under Fire

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has filed a suit against radio research company Arbitron, claiming its new Portable People Meter is flawed and its ratings are damaging to some broadcasters.

The lawsuit, filed in New York County Superior Court, alleges Arbitron execs put the pager-sized PPM in use before it was ready and failed to fix or make known “key flaws,” according to Radio Ink. The PPM measures radio habits of individuals in a sample audience in 10 markets.

The suit also claims that Arbitron used an insufficient number of cell phone-only households and didn’t recruit survey subjects in person, which allegedly led to the omission of African Americans, Latinos and non-English speakers from the ratings.

Arbitron officials deny the allegations and have requested an injunction to stop Cuomo from interfering, the magazine said.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit reportedly seeks restitution for minority broadcasters for any PPM-related lost revenue.