There are growing concerns amongst advertisers as well as broadcasters about a ratings blackout as the hearing on Kantar Media’s writ petition in the TV ratings guidelines case comes up for hearing in the Delhi High Court today, February 11, 2014.
As is known, the new guidelines for television ratings approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in January this year highlights that no single company/ legal entity, either directly or through its associates or interconnect undertakings, shall have substantial equity holding that is, 10 per cent or more of paid up equity in both rating agencies and broadcasters/ advertisers/ advertising agencies. The deadline for implementing these guidelines is February 16, 2014.
The news came as shock to the existing TV ratings agency TAM, which is a joint venture between Kantar and Nielsen. It’s a strong and clear signal for TAM to either sell their stake or wind up their operations.
As expected, Kantar Media took the legal route and went to the Delhi High Court. In case Kantar fails to get a stay order today, then ratings blackout is a looming reality, since the deadline is just six days away.
This situation has raised concerns for advertisers, who hugely rely on TAM data every week to place their brands on different channels and time slots.
exchange4media spoke to some marketers to understand their perspective on how the blackout is going to impact advertising.
Sharing his point of view, Sanjiv Kapur, CMO, Citibank said, “From a Citi Bank point of view, we don’t do too much of TV advertising. So, direct impact is limited as our advertising is largely focus on print, outdoor and digital. If I look back as a community perspective, initially TAM is going out because of lack of belief about the validity, quality of data. You can’t take away the fact that content is there its going be little more difficult between the advertisers and broadcasters what is the right price is. I don’t think people are going to put out monies they will start to go for safer choices as suppose to experiment things with they are not comfortable with because there is lack of measurements.”
On the other hand, RK Chaudhary, Hub Marketing Manager, Air India criticised the blackout and said, “Quite a good amount of damage will happen. It will impact the advertisers.”
Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimony added here, “We will work on the basis of past experience (old ratings). In the short run there will be no impact, but it is matter of concern in the long run.”