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SAARF® is an acronym for the South African Advertising Research Foundation.

It is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1974 to provide comprehensive, unbiased, valid, reliable and credible media audience and product consumption measures on an ongoing basis.

It is a tripartite organisation consisting of marketers, advertising agencies and media owners.

SAARF® is financed through a fixed amount by print media owners and through an industry levy by other media owners (television, radio, etc.) The levy is currently 1.0% of their advertising revenue and part of it is used to also fund the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

SAARF® has the following products:




· SAARF Branded RAMS®


· SAARF Media Groups Measure (MGMs)

· SAARF Lifestyles

· SAARF Life Stages

· SAARF Attitudes


SAARF AMPS® is an acronym for the SAARF All Media and Products Survey.

It is a single source survey, because information on media usage, product consumption and demographics are collected from the same respondent.

SAARF AMPS® is an in-home face to face personal interview. It is currently done using Double Screen Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (DS-CAPI). With DS-CAPI, both the interviewer and the respondent have a laptop. The interviewer’s laptop has all the interview questions loaded onto it and allows the interviewer to capture the respondent’s answers. The respondent’s laptop displays all prompt materials (e.g. publication mastheads and response options) at the appropriate time during the interview.

The SAARF AMPS® sample is currently about 25 000 adults (15 years and older) per annum. The interviewing is conducted in two fully national fieldwork waves January to June and July to December. Results are published every 6 months in the form of 12-month rolling data which covers the two most recent fieldwork periods.

Sample design

The SAARF AMPS® sample is designed by using multi-stage area stratified systematic probability sampling.  

Selection of addresses

The residential addresses of almost all urban communities are listed on our contractor Nielsen Media Research’s geo-frame.

The addresses are arranged within each geographic stratum (area) alphabetically by suburb name, then by street name within suburb and numerically by street number within street. Multiple dwelling units such as flats, cluster houses with the same street number are listed individually.

The sample is selected in urban areas by using a random starting point, and then selecting systematically with a fixed interval every Nth address number. A cluster of two addresses are selected at each primary sampling point to save travelling costs.

In rural areas (villages and farms) and informal settlements where there are no formal addresses sampling points are selected using global positioning technology. Interviewers are given a longitude and latitude co-ordinate and a GPS device to enable them to navigate to the selected point. A cluster of two addresses are selected at each primary sampling point to save travelling costs.

Selection of respondents

Two addresses are selected at each sampling point, one for a female interview and one for a male interview. At each of these one respondent is selected using age to ensure a proportionate sample. Inhabits at mines and hostels and domestic workers are sampled differently in accordance with their gender composition.


SAARF RAMS® is an acronym for the SAARF Radio Audience Measurement Survey. This survey gives more detailed radio audience information than SAARF AMPS®. SAARF AMPS® asks about radio listening in the past 4 weeks, past 7 days and yesterday and does not differentiate between Monday, Tuesday, etc audiences. SAARF RAMS® records average audiences for each station, separately for every day of the week.

The same respondents used for SAARF AMPS® are used for SAARF RAMS®. The SAARF RAMS® Diary is left with the respondent at the end of the SAARF AMPS® interview and collected a week later. Respondents are expected to record, for every station listened to, quarter hour by quarter hour, 24 hours a day,  for seven consecutive days, their listening. Respondents are also requested to, at the end of the reporting period; indicate their three most preferred stations (in order of preference).

A new procedure called ‘flooding’ has been introduced in 2004, where all adult (15+) household members, in addition to the one selected for SAARF AMPS® are requested to keep a SAARF RAMS® Diary. This procedure more than doubled the sample.

Because SAARF AMPS® respondents are used for the core SAARF RAMS® sample; the SAARF RAMS® sample design is the same as that of SAARF AMPS®. Results are published every two month, six times a year and every reporting period covers the two most recent fieldwork periods on a rolling basis.

SAARF Television Audience Measurement Survey (SAARF TAMS®)

Besides the television viewing information provided by SAARF AMPS® (past 4 weeks, past 7 days and yesterday), the SAARF TAMS® Panel provides television viewing information, minute by minute, using so-called ‘peoplemeters’. It is semi-automatic electronic equipment that are connected to households’ television equipment. It records television set events including PVR, satellite decoders, DVD etc connected to the TV automatically, while viewer are logging in and out by using a remote control unit. Visitors to the measured households are included.

The results are reported daily.

SAARF Segmentation Tools

SAARF® has developed the following segmentation tools during the past years:

· SAARF Living Standards Measure (LSMs®)

· SAARF Media Groups Measure (SAARF MGMs)

· SAARF Lifestyles

· SAARF Life Stages

· SAARF Attitudes

Each of these tools segment the market in a different way, as their names indicate, respectively by living standard, the media they use, their lifestyle, the stage of their life they are in and their attitudes towards various topics.

* Also see All About SAARF

Copyright 2017