The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has sent a formal notice to the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) on the ad cap issue. A notice sent by ISA Chairman Hemant Bakshi states: “Members of ISA have brought to the notice of ISA that they have received letters from some members of IBF about their proposal to impose an ad cap self-regulation and, thereby, ration inventory available to the members of ISA on the channels of these IBF members.”
The notice further states that the ISA has taken a very serious view of this issue, “which is wholly uncalled for and is brought up by some IBF members with ulterior motives to make undue gains”.
As is known, in the matter of News Broadcasters Association and others Vs. the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TDSAT has, vide its order dated August 30, 2013, directed that till further orders, TRAI shall not take any coercive measures against the appellants or its members to make them abide by the impugned ad cap regulations and further directed the matter to be listed on November 11, 2013.
The notice adds, “Advertising on network channels is a part of monthly brand media plans and the act of some of your members in reneging the subsisting contracts will lead to under-deliveries of media plans, causing business losses and hardship to our members. It is wholly wrongful and arbitrary on the part of some of your members to take unilateral action in reneging on subsisting contracts on account of purported self advertising cap.”
“These members of IBF are looking to unilaterally pass the entire cost and burden of self-imposed ad cap onto the advertisers, without any discussion and agreement. We find this approach of such members of IBF incorrect and unjustified,” the notice further states.
The notice also points out that during the earlier issue of audience measurement reporting, IBF had agreed that unilateral decisions will not be taken by them and any concern that its members may have will be resolved through dialogue and would be mutually agreed. “The present conduct of some IBF members is contrary to what had been agreed by them in the recent past,” it adds.
Clarifying ISA’s position on this, the notice states, “We will advise our members to abide by the law and the judicial pronouncements. Any unilateral decision that some of your members take to renege on the existing contracts under the so called self-regulation while the matter is sub judice would virtually amount to showing contempt of TDSAT’s order.”