Industry discontent with local syndicated rating services grew during the mid 1950s. It stemmed from a deep-seated skepticism about the techniques used and, in some cases, the integrity of rating companies. Television and radio station owners felt that the advancing importance and use of ratings, which in effect put a value on their broadcast properties, was counter to their interests. Furthermore, the rating results differed so much from one service to another that some investigation was warranted.
Stanley Breyer, manager of radio station KJBS, San Francisco, ran a fullpage advertisement in the July 3, 1950 issue of Broadcasting-Telecasting to highlight the troublesome problem. He proposed a test to determine whether either Hooper or Pulse were measuring radio audiences accurately. 1 Breyer's initiative brought about the organization of a Special Test Survey Committee by the National Association of Broadcasters. This committee's specifications for a comprehensive study, estimated to cost $140,000, produced no results.
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), meanwhile, found strong interest by advertisers and agencies in methodological research into various ratings techniques. In July 1952 the ARF Committee began its deliberations, the only tangible result of which was publication in 1954 of Recommended Standards for Radio and Television Audience Size Measurements. The committee's design of test specifications met the same dismal fate as the earlier NAB proposal.
With the failure of the NAB and the ARF to produce any action toward a true investigation, broadcasters finally sought relief from receptive members of Congress. Senator A. N. "Mike" Monroney, chairman of the Senate Interstate