They may or may not have expressed their approval of the revalidation of the IRS 2013 data, but print players are prepping for the Q1 numbers for 2014 already, say sources.
Controversy had erupted on January 28, 2014, when the IRS 2013 was published. Within a couple of days, around 18 publications had pointed out anomalies in the data, questioned the methodology adopted for the regions of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The demand for a withdrawal of the data was met with a voluntary abeyance on the part of the Media Research Users Council (MRUC), which as the reader may recall, was lifted with effect from August 20 after the revalidation.
Even as a section of publishers continue to question the credibility of the Survey, sources say the industry is looking forward to an error-free Q1 2014 report. The delay in auditing and validating the 2013 report has affected the market, say insiders, and it is time to move on. That has been the abiding mood with advertisers are well, who are willing to accept the revalidated numbers and plan ahead with the new set of numbers.
It is learnt that even when the abeyance was in effect, MRUC had completed the research for Q1 2014 and the data is expected anytime now. This could actually make the debate over the validity of the 2013 data seem redundant. Or will it rekindle lingering controversies?