A circular has gone out to all members of the AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) from its President M G Parameswaran, urging them to “subscribe to the BARC measurement studies when it comes up soon”. While not naming any specific organization, the same document tactfully states: “Simultaneously, business prudence would require that you review and close off on any of your existing arrangements.”
When contacted, Parameswaran confirmed the development, saying, “Yes, a circular has gone out to AAAI members advising them to adopt BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) data.”
On whether broadcasters and agencies will transition from the existing television measurement system smoothly as BARC goes live, and chances of them rejecting the new data as in the recent IRS imbroglio, Parameswaran said, “Any new system will have its own challenges... the BARC team and the Tech Com are fully aware of those. The IRS experience has been a great learning for all of us. Hopefully we will have fewer challenges.”
A copy of the circular, which exchange4media could access, says: “We are happy to inform you that we expect BARC to bring out the audience measurement weekly data from end of April 2015. As a stakeholder in BARC, AAAI has been very active in this joint industry initiative and has invested substantial monies and resources to ensure that the new measurement is best-in-class and significantly superior to any existing measurement system.”
The advisory also calls upon members to confirm that they are taking the required steps for actively using the BARC data from April 2015.
BARC is a joint industry body bringing together broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers through their apex bodies – the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), AAAI and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) – to set up a more credible and robust TV audience measurement system.
IBF SENDS ADVISORY TO MEMBERS TOO
It is understood that the IBF too has issued a similar advisory and some of its members have already moved on its recommendation to unsubscribe from TAM, and switch to BARC. While exchange4media could not independently verify which broadcasters have already moved on this, as most refused to comment, sources say NDTV, India TV and Discovery are among those who have decided to end their contracts with TAM.
Meanwhile, the ISA too is likely to issue an advisory to its members soon, recommending BARC data.