Taking forward the discussion from the research perspective, Avinash Kaul, VP, Strategic Planning and Marketing Services, NDTV Media, began the panel discussion pointing out that none of the research agencies agreed with each other.
Questioning the double standards in the industry, Kaul explained how agencies tend not to look at the minute details of print readership like page views, but still continue to pay premium pricing for various pages. He elaborated, “Even in outdoors, we do not really know the number of people seeing a poster and, for that matter, even the time of noticing it. However, in TV, we look at each and every minute spent on watching which channel and at what time.” He further pointed out that research should be business-oriented and help the growth of business and industry in general.
Armed with charts, Lynn De Souza, Director, Lintas Media Services, pointed out, “Internationally, advertising expenditure as part of GDP is rising. However, while in China it is rising, in the US it is falling.” Calling research as an investigation, she said, “The problem is we don’t have a singular industry barometer and only collaboration among all of us will take us forward for that.”
Raviratan Arora, MD, aMap, held that research agencies ‘are’ as well as ‘are not’ stalling the growth of the industry. Asserting that research data is not being used properly in the country, he explained how the media paradigm is changing and similarly how the advertising paradigm needs to change. Even as he made a case for healthy competition as a prerequisite for the growth of the industry, he urged the industry to come up with ideas for the research agencies which they could take up for tracking.
“We support research if it helps us,” Joy Chakravarthy, EVP-Ad Sales, Zee Network, said. Citing how internationally most broadcasters were less dependent on advertisers, he said, Indian companies, too, will not depend on it in the coming years. Asking advertisers to respect broadcasters and not blame them for the poor returns, he insisted that they should ask the agencies to create better creatives. He stressed that he won’t mind funding any research if it benefits the entire industry. He further added, “No channel is confident about doing AFP (advertiser funded programming) as creative agencies killed it.”
Questioning the reach of advertising, LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM India, pointed out that 450 million people in the county were living in darkness as they did not have access to any medium of advertisement -- print, TV and others. Stressing the need for an industry body to help the growth of the industry, he said, “AAAI should start liaisoning with the Government of India in its own way so that they can increase the advertising reach in the country.” He further mentioned that this growth would be beneficial for the Government as they were amongst one of the biggest advertisers in the country with their family planning and NACO ads.