Media Research Users Council’s (MRUC) latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) has countered various controversies as major print players disagree with the numbers.
The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) issued an advisory to all its members to withdraw subscription from the IRS and almost all INS members, barring a few, have agreed to follow the advisory.
Meanwhile, INS is also holding discussions on taking legal recourse and is planning to seek a refund from MRUC.
Major publications that have opted out include The Times of India, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, Anandabazar Patrika, Lokmat, Outlook, Daily News and Analysis (DNA), Sakshi, The Hindu, Amar Ujala, The Tribune, Bartaman Patrika, Aaj Samaj, The Statesman, Mid Day, Nai Duniya, and Dinakaran.
The entire development has raised concerns for marketers as well, who hugely depend on the IRS figures to advertise their brands in different newspapers. exchange4media spoke to some of the marketers to understand their perspective on how the situation is going to impact advertising.
Sanjiv Kapur, CMO, Citibank felt that IRS data is relatively simpler than TV, as they look at the top two newspapers at the city level. “It is a matter of concern for the long term, but not in the immediate future,” he added.
Highlighting the measurability factor of digital advertising, Kapur said, “Because we are getting into more measurable marketing in the digital space, one wonders if one medium continues to offer more sophisticated analytics measurability, the marketers may start to go there over a period of time and look for an alternative measurement system, which is more accurate and works for them.”
RK Chaudhary, Hub Marketing Manager, Air India remarked, “It may not have an impact on the readers, but as advertisers, we are concerned about what newspapers are sold in the market.”
Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimony said, “It is a matter of concern. We can use the numbers for reference, but we don’t absolutely rely on them.”