In its board meeting on August 28, 2012, the MRUC (Media Research Users Council), in principle, has agreed to RSCI’s (Readership Studies Council of India) recommendation of awarding the contract for the new avatar of IRS (Indian Readership Survey) to The Nielsen Company. The formal award of contract will follow after completion of legal due diligence.
The decision comes in the wake of a comprehensive nine-month process that began in November 2011 with the formation of the RSCI by its sponsors the MRUC and ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation). The RSCI was mandated by the industry to oversee the conduct of a unified IRS, the world’s largest continuous readership study.
The process involved the active participation of 20 senior representatives of advertisers, agencies and publishers who served on the RSCI Managing Committee, as well some of the sub-committees formed to vet every aspect of the submissions – from technical superiority to fieldwork integrity, research cost, organisation strength and stability. Another 24 senior industry professionals contributed to the technical deliberations under the Technical Committee Chair, Paritosh Joshi.
“Proposals were received from the most hallowed names in the Media Measurement universe and the quality of submissions was uniformly high. The knowledge and skill on display drew upon the very finest professional capability available globally. Developing an RFP award recommendation was an unusually challenging task. The Nielsen Company proposal, that has won the approval of the Council, was exceptional in its methodological rigour, comprehensiveness and future readiness. The design recommendation and resources committed to the project should enable the Indian Readership Survey to reassert its position of pre-eminence in Indian media measurement,” Mr Joshi.
Lynn de Souza, Chairman, RSCI, explained that the Council’s objective through the process was two-fold – first, to achieve the construct of a study that would be the gold standard all over the world in readership measurement. And second, to involve all industry stakeholders in the decision making process with a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. She said, “The months and years ahead will present several challenges as we introduce a first ever data capture system – the Dual Screen CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interview) – a system that will reduce interview time, respondent fatigue and confusion, and interviewer bias of any kind.”
“I am overwhelmed by the seriousness and commitment of the many industry seniors who gave freely of their time on weekends, and holidays as well, to help the RSCI arrive at a decision. Thank you would not be enough. Ravi Kiran, our marketing Chairman, was also very helpful in enabling us to identify new revenue sources given that the new IRS will be captured, stored, disseminated and analysed digitally,” de Souza added.
"The MRUC’s belief in the innovative techniques and technology proposed for the forthcoming Indian Readership Survey will certainly transform market research in India, improving quality and the effectiveness of gathering and applying consumer insights for businesses and marketers. Nielsen is honoured to have been chosen as its partner in this landmark study that will no doubt shape all future research across India,” said Prashant Singh, MD – Media, Nielsen India.