The Media Rating Council was set up in 1964 after a committee of the House of Representatives held hearings on the accuracy of TV and radio research. Instead of regulation, the Harris Committee hearings resulted in the formation of an industry-funded organization to review and accredit the ratings services called, at first, the Broadcast Rating Council.
The MRC’s activities include establishing standards, accrediting ratings services and auditing those services. Its membership has grown from 15 when it was formed, to about 155 today, but it has remained a small organization. Executive director George Ivie said it is scalable and able to handle its increasing workload.
“We were set up by Congress and the government did some really smart things back then. One thing they did was to say to do audits you have to use independent CPAs,“ Ivie said.
The MRC has a number of CPA firms it works with, and they’re doing a ton of it.
Ivie notes that many companies have asked to help the MRC do its audits. “I have one simple question for them: Are you a CPA firm?” he said. “If you’re not, we can’t use you.”