MRC Warns About COVID-19 Effect On Media Audience Measurement

The Media Rating Council (MRC) this morning published a notice advising media audience measurement services to have “objective criteria in place” to ensure they maintain “data quality in the face of unprecedented challenges presented by the current Coronavirus crisis.”

The MRC said it already is working with accredited ratings services to address some of the challenges, which include:

  • Workforce reductions.

  • Forced transitions to remote workforce arrangements

  • Curtailment of field activity related to in-person research and panels

  • And the need to place greater reliance on automation for certain processes that might otherwise be done with enhanced manual oversight. 

“To supplement the criteria, the service should have formal procedures established and in place to guide the evaluation of data quality, which typically should include pre-determined, quantified data quality thresholds that will trigger the release or the withholding of reported data,” the MRC advised, continuing, “Such data quality evaluations should be based on methodological soundness, rather than audience behavior changes, which are to be expected during these disruptive circumstances.”



The MRC said the procedures should utilize “established transparency and disclosure policies.”

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