As the dotted lines for implementing the merger of the National Readership Survey (NRS) and Indian Readership Survey (IRS) are being signed and the Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI) is becoming a reality from just an idea, both the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), that is fronting the NRS, and the Media Research Users’ Council (MRUC) that owns the IRS, are moving forward with the next steps of the RSCI.
The first amongst these is the formation of the committee that would constitute the RSCI. This committee is expected to be in office for a two-year term.
Given that the RSCI is designed to be a partnership of equals between the MRUC and the ABC, the committee would include 10 members from each body. The majority of these members represent media owners or publishers. There are three members from both ABC and MRUC coming from advertising agencies and two members from each, representing the advertisers.
Both sides had agreed for the first Chairperson to be from the MRUC – it is understood that the responsibility has been placed on Lynn de Souza, Chairman & CEO, Lintas Media Group, to be the first Chairperson of the RSCI.
The Publisher members from the ABC are Vijay Darda (Chairman & MD, Lokmat Group of Publications), T Venkattram Reddy (Chairman, Deccan Chronicle), Jacob Mathew (Executive Editor, Malayala Manorama Group), Hindustan Times’ Benoy Roychowdhury and India Today’s CEO Ashish Bagga. From the MRUC, the Publisher members are Bombay Samachar’s Chairman Hormusji Cama, Eenadu’s I Venkat, Ravindra Kumar (Editor & Managing Diretcor, The Statesman), Jagran Group’s CEO Sanjay Gupta and The Times of India’s Rahul Kansal.
Sam Balsara (Chairman & MD, Madison World), Shashi Sinha (CEO, Lodestar UM) and Vikram Sakhuja (CEO, GroupM South Asia) are the Advertising Agency nominees from the ABC and in addition to Lynn de Souza, MRUC has nominated Leo Burnett India’s Chairman Arvind Sharma and Aegis Media’s CEO Ashish Bhasin to be on the RSCI.
Representing the Advertiser side, there is Tata Teleservices’ Lloyd Mathias and HSBC Bank’s Srikanth Srinivasmadhavan from the MRUC and S M Ahmad and Tata Motors’ Ravi Pisharody from the ABC.
As per information available with exchange4media, these are the nominees suggested by the ABC and the MRUC. However, the ABC annual general meeting would conclude this week. Further details and confirmations would be available after the ABC AGM.
While the data from the RSCI would be called IRS, it promises to be significantly value added to build accuracy and robustness and be a true gold standard for the Indian print industry, as the new survey progresses in time. All points of disagreement in the current IRS that also includes the data’s inability to address specialist publications and periodicals would be taken care of in the new research.