Media heads got a chance to point out what they think wasn’t right with the NRS 2006 findings and even discuss issues with the National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) officials at a meeting held on September 13, 2006. NRSC, Technical Committee, Chairman, Sam Balsara, was clear that the issues had been sorted out to a large extent at the meeting. Most media professionals agree with him, but add in the same breath that they are still waiting for the NRSC to revert before deciding on the next step.
The media chiefs who were present at the meeting informed that NRSC had taken cognizance to some of the problems that existed in the data. Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today Group, said, “I believe the NRSC will address the conceptual issues that were raised. In fact, they were already aware of some of them such as the anomalies relating to magazine readership, rural swings, certain territories demonstrating unusual spikes, etc. the AIR and CR issue was also discussed and so was the revalidation. The five metro and ‘rest of urban’ anomaly was also discussed.”
Hindustan Times’ Marketing Head, Anand Bhardwaj, added, “Issues still remain, there are discrepancies in the data in markets like Rajasthan, Delhi and so on, and to some extent NRSC has admitted these as well, but we have to see what they get back to us with. They have told us it would take 10 days. So, what happens after that would be decided based on their feedback.”
Outlook’s Maheshwer Peri believed that NRSC was on the right track as far the decision that it had taken on the changes that would be made in the next round like the module that would be added for magazines.
Industry heads viewed the meeting on the whole to be a fruitful one. Bagga said, “The meeting was fine, but we hope there will be a quick revert. The issues raised are pretty serious and need addressing as soon as possible. It is evident from the meeting that the NRSC takes the conceptual issues raised by publishers very seriously and hopefully will do the needful.”
Peri seconded that as did Bhardwaj. The industry has significant expectations from the NRSC and the steps it would take to address the issues.
There were a few mixed comments when asked whether they expected the NRSC to take an extreme step if required like withdrawal of the data or select sections of the data or other changes induced.
Bagga said, “I would strongly believe so.” But Peri differed. He said, “I don’t think that the NRSC really has the courage to do something like that. To admit that they have made a mistake and hence should withdraw the data, might be asking for too much.”
Bhardwaj said, “To be fair, we will cross the bridge when we come to it. Right now, they are looking back and checking, and we are waiting to see what they come back to us with.”
NRSC meets publishers, agencies to discuss anomalies in NRS 2006 data