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MRC Wants to Know How Research Firms Deal with Crisis

The Media Rating Council, which accredits measurement companies, issued a notice on the quality of data during the Coronavirus crisis.

The MRC is reaching out to research organizations that it has accredited to see how the crisis has affected the data it collects. It also want to makes sure that in cases where data collection has been altered, its being done based with methodological soundness and disclosed with appropriate transparency.

“It is understandable that in the current environment measurement services may want to adjust controls to maintain operations,” said George Ivie, executive director and CEO of the MRC. “Additionally, we recognize the unprecedented challenges these companies are facing, which may include workforce reductions, as well as forced transitions to remote workforce arrangements; the 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. However, now more than ever, the industry needs transparent and reliable data with which to make critical decisions.”

The MRC’s auditors have been reaching out to accredited companies and it is asking for full cooperation. The queries will continue as long as the crisis continues.

The MRC is also planning a members-only meeting to address issues raised by the crisis.

Others in the marketplace are being encouraged to contact the MRC with any questions or unusual issues they are observing relative to data measurement quality.

“The need for accurate understanding of shifting media use patterns is at its peak now, with so much uncertainty and the lack of precedence for what the media and advertising industries are currently facing,” said Ivie. “As measurement companies also struggle with these unprecedented challenges, we ask that they work with the MRC, their partners and customers to ensure that the quality of their data is vetted more closely than ever, and the data that is reported is determined to be of sufficient quality and is presented in a fully transparent fashion to users.”