The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has expressed “shock at the decision of some channels, supported by the Broadcasters' Association, IBF to decide not to subscribe to the only TV Ratings service in the country - TAM.”
Arvind Sharma, president AAAI, and chairman and CEO of India subcontinent, Leo Burnett, said, "The move by broadcasters to discontinue with ratings is ill-advised and not in the interest of advertisers, advertising agencies or broadcasters. It will lead to overpaying and underpaying of advertising time, both of which will lead to a collapse of TV as an advertising medium. The ratings from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) are yet some time away and until they are released it is critical to continue with the current system. Most broadcasters all over the world have some issue with media measurement systems but that does not mean that the system must be abandoned. Instead it must be improved and identified gaps must be plugged."
AAAI has said that it will hold broadcasters responsible for deliveries as per signed agreements based on the TV ratings system.
Advertisers need ratings
In a prepared statement on the subject issued on 10 June, The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) said: ‘ISA has read with concern recent reports that some broadcasters have decided to stop subscription to television measurement service. This is a matter of immense importance as the measurement system is integral to the health of the industry. The rating system needs to continue for the smooth functioning of the industry as it’s the very foundation of the commercial process, media planning and pricing.’
It urged constructive dialogue to pursue continuous improvement, and added: ‘While some broadcasters have stopped using the current rating system for measurement, as advertisers we support it and will continue using it till another credible measurement system is made available. Any action taken which is detrimental to the measurement system would be detrimental to the industry at large.’
Hemant Bakshi, chairman, managing committee, ISA, and executive director - home and personal care, Hindustan Unilever Limited, said, “An industry-accepted rating system is the need of the hour and ISA is working with rest of the industry to ensure this is in place and any action to the contrary will have an adverse impact,” said
The AAAI statement follows media reports which said broadcasters Times Television Network and Multiscreen Media have decided to do away with TAM ratings.
Speaking with Campaign India on 8 June, Shailesh Shah, secretary, Indian Broadcasters Foundation (IBF), said, “Every broadcaster in the country is angry with TAM. I am yet to speak to Man Jit (Singh) and Sunil (Lulla). The channels are yet to inform us officially.”
E-mails to Man Jit Singh, CEO, MSM and president, IBF, Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Television Network and LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media remained unanswered.
Shah added, "The issue is not new. This has been going on forever. TAM's erratic measurement has only gotten worse with time. Broadcasters have been sending letters to the agency but nothing has happened. We have communicated the displeasure of the broadcasters so many times but nothing concrete has ever emerged. Also on the other hand, we as a board, cannot make any decision on this. Even at the last board meeting that was held in March we discussed this issue but since we cannot do anything about it we have told the IBF members that they are free to make an independent decision on the matter."
Colors CEO Raj Nayak said the channel would measure pros and cons of the developing situation and decide on a way forward.
When contacted, Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, refused to discuss the issue with media.