Conversations around BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) and the need for a governing television measurement body to take shape were fuelled once again in the wake of the NDTV’s lawsuit against TAM Media Research and its parent bodies Nielsen and Kantar. Subsequently, a week ago the three industry bodies – IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation), ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) and AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) – met to discuss the way forward on BARC.
The three associations were not offering any comments till the time of filing the report, but it is understood that in the meeting, representatives of the three bodies have agreed upon all terms of operating and other guiding principles. What remains now is the official signing of this Articles of Association that would govern BARC’s way forward. Industry sources expect the signing to take place within a few weeks.
The conversation in February this year was on similar lines in terms of the three bodies agreeing upon the terms of the agreement but the official signing was still delayed. Nonetheless, industry sources see the meeting earlier this month as a positive step forward, as “all stakeholders have agreed on everything and the only part remaining is for the three bodies to sign it in their respective executive committee and board meetings.”
The process of BARC in a sense is already underway as IBF, that holds 60 per cent ownership of BARC, has commenced the Establishment Survey, which would form the central universe around which television measurement would revolve.
One of the operating principles for BARC would be the fact that the different steps involved in television measurement would be broken up between different agencies as commissioned by BARC. A senior research executive explained, “The advantage of that is the responsibility is divided between different agencies and each step would ideally be handled by an expert of that particular research requirement.”
As is known, an Article of Association contains details such as the powers of directors, officers and the shareholders as to voting, etc., the mode and form in which the business of the company is to be carried out and the mode and form in which the changes in the internal regulations can be made. It also includes the rights, duties and powers of the company as well as the members who are included in the Articles of Association.
BARC would play the role of the joint industry body that represents industry stakeholders’ interest. This body will issue RFPs (request for proposals) to which research agencies would respond. BARC’s technical committee would evaluate RFPs and then award the contract to any agency that would be able to provide that solution. It would be a client-vendor relationship, where the client, which is television measurement user, would have the ability to oversee what is going on and demand performance and a certain quality in output.
TAM Media Research, given its experience and expertise in television measurement, would have an advantage in responding to these RFPs but by this process, BARC would make it possible for research agencies other than TAM also to be part of television measurement system in India.
IBF, ISA & AAAI join hands once again for BARC