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Disgruntled advertisers & media agencies speak up

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Disgruntled advertisers & media agencies speak up

At the back of yesterday’s development of a shift from weekly to monthly ratings by TAM for nine major broadcasters, which include NDTV, STAR India, Viacom18, and MSM, among others, advertisers and agencies, who have maintained a consistent view in support of weekly ratings, are extremely disgruntled and are regarding this development as a step backward.

Industry sources have confirmed to exchange4media that India’s top advertisers have voted for pulling out their advertising from TV. In the short-term, this will definitely have repercussion on television spends.

Leaders from media agencies and advertisers voice their opinions and concerns over the shift to monthly ratings by select channels and take a firm stand. Here is what they have to say...

“Advertisers and media agencies have maintained a consistent stand on the issue. We are against any unilateral change to the measurement system. Any such change needs to be discussed, debated and is best done if referred to a joint industry body that has representation from broadcasters, advertisers and agencies. We have landed up with a hybrid measurement system today that is causing a lot of confusion to all parties. The whole world is moving to real-time marketing and measurement and we are going in exactly the opposite direction. The rating system needs to be safeguarded against frequent changes and interruptions. We need to develop a system of redressing grievances in a mature and amicable manner. I see a huge negative impact to TV advertising investment in the coming days if this confusion persists,” said CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia, on this development.

If things continue in a similar vein, in long-run it is bound to affect television spends, which remain one of the highest media of investment among advertisers.

Anil Jayaraj, CMO, Pidilite – one of the big spenders on television – mirrors this sentiment. He said, “I think we will examine our next step with our media agency and move forward. A decision like this should be taken in consultation with all the stakeholders – that is advertisers, broadcasters, and media agencies. Ratings going off weekly is not a good thing, it disrupts continuity.”

Agencies and advertisers have maintained a strict stand over this tussle since the beginning, clearly supporting TAM’s weekly ratings system and this step has added an air of discontent.

“Reporting on a monthly basis is not right. We track campaigns on a weekly basis. There are certain norms and benchmarks we follow to gauge performance of the campaigns. As an advertiser, you don’t sit back once you have invested money on a campaign,” stated Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle Products.

“Depending on the category, the campaign may need evaluation and tweaking per week. Coming to the other issue of CPT ratings, the reach does not give me the quality I want, added Shah.

This development is also creating a lot of dissatisfaction among media agencies as the sudden shift for some channels to a monthly basis will cause disruption in previous media plans.

“It is quite unfortunate, and jeopardises our practise of planning, which we have done keeping in mind certain data. The sudden change to monthly reporting acts as a disruption in our plans,” said Satyajit Sen, CEO, ZenithOptimedia.

“There are various viewership fluctuations that take place every week, how will these be factored in a monthly system? Ratings are used as a measurement tool for planning and have business implications. Moreover, the reason for using ratings is to bring in a certain objectivity. Also, some weeks may be more important for a client than the others. It is not a good step for the industry as we are losing data. In my view there were no reasons to discontinue weekly ratings, said Kartik Sharma, Managing Partner, Maxus.

While the new ratings system to be introduced by BARC is much awaited, the fact remains that till March 2014 – the expected date for the new system – the television industry has to work with TAM.

Tags CVL Srinivas Mayank Shah Parle Products Pidilite NDTV Star Network Viacom 18 MSM

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