The Indian Newspapers Society (INS) has given Media Research Users Council (MRUC) 24 hours to withdraw the latest IRS 2013 findings that were released last week. If MRUC fails to withdraw the findings within the stipulated time, then INS has warned that its members will opt out of IRS forever. This ultimatum was issued at a meeting between INS and MRUC in Delhi today.
exchange4media had reported on February 1, 2014 (INS likely to meet MRUC on Feb 3 to discuss latest IRS data) that INS and MRUC are scheduled to meet on February 3 to discuss the fate of the latest IRS findings as well as a likely ultimatum that could be issued to MRUC about withdrawing the findings of the latest IRS and refunding the publishers’ money.
Confirming the news to exchange4media, Mohit Jain, Chairman, Newspaper Committee, INS said, “Yes, we as INS have requested MRUC to withdraw the IRS results by tomorrow (February 4, 2014). It is learnt that MRUC is conducting an emergency meeting tomorrow at 11.30 am and decide about today’s discussions.”
Sharing more about the latest findings, Jain said, “The execution in the latest IRS survey was improper and the field work was inaccurate too. There is no validation of the latest findings and all the major newspapers are not satisfied with it.”
One of the members present at the meeting told exchange4media, on condition of anonymity, “If MRUC will not take any action tomorrow, then there are two things that INS is planning to do for the benefit of print players. The first is that INS might issue an advisory to its members asking them not to subscribe to IRS in the future and also not to use the mast heads of their newspapers in future surveys. The second is that INS is planning to suggest their members to go to court and get stay order on the use of the latest IRS numbers by media planners and advertisers.”
Meanwhile, some of the print players, who have registered growth in the latest IRS results and were also present at today’s meeting, expressed their satisfaction with the work process of MRUC.
Industry sources further said that today’s meeting was held in two rounds. The first meeting saw print publishers discuss the future course of action and the strategy to be adopted. The second meeting saw print publishers deliver the ultimatum to MRUC to withdraw the latest IRS 2013 findings with 24 hours.
It remains to be seen whether MRUC and Nielsen will now undertake a fresh readership survey or provide some other way out of this impasse.