Following a comprehensive nine-month process, MRUC (Media Research Users Council) has handed the contract to conduct the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) to The Nielsen Company. A statement announcing the decision was issued on 28 August.
The process began with the setting up of RSCI in November 2011 by MRUC and the Audit Bureau of Circulation, to oversee the conduct of a unified IRS.
It involved active participation of 20 senior representatives of advertisers, agencies and publishers who served on the RSCI managing committee, and sub-committees formed to vet aspects of submissions including technical superiority, fieldwork integrity, research cost, organisation strength and stability.
Another 24 senior industry professionals contributed to technical deliberations under chairman of the Technical Committee, Paritosh Joshi.
“Proposals were received from the most hallowed names in the media measurement universe and the quality of submissions was uniformly high. The knowledge and skill on display drew upon the very finest professional capability available globally. Developing an RFP award recommendation was an unusually challenging task. The Nielsen Company proposal, that has won the approval of the Council, was exceptional in its methodological rigour, comprehensiveness and future readiness. The design recommendation and resources committed to the project should enable the Indian Readership Survey to reassert its position of pre-eminence in Indian media measurement,” Joshi said.
Lynn de Souza, chairman, RSCI, explained that the Council’s objective through the process was two-fold - first, to achieve the construct of a study that would be the gold standard all over the world in readership measurement. And second, to involve all industry stakeholders in the decision making process with a spirit of collaboration and teamwork.
She said, “The months and years ahead will present several challenges as we introduce a first ever data capture system – the Dual Screen CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interview) – a system that will reduce interview time, respondent fatigue and confusion, and interviewer bias of any kind.”
Besides explaining the objectives, de Souza acknowledged the commitment of industry veterans like Ravi Kiran. "As the marketing chairman of RSCI, he was very helpful in enabling us to identify new revenue sources given that the new IRS will be captured, stored, disseminated and analysed digitally,” she said.
Prashant Singh, managing director - media, Nielsen, said, "The MRUC's belief in the innovative techniques and technology proposed for the forthcoming Indian Readership Survey will certainly transform market research in India, improving quality and the effectiveness of gathering and applying consumer insights for businesses and marketers. Nielsen is honoured to have been chosen as its partner in this landmark study that will no doubt shape all future research across India."