The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has come down strongly against the multiple tickers, bugs and towers running at the bottom and sides of the TV screen commercial breaks and has confronted the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) on the same. ISA has issued a release order, wherein it has stated that advertisers would not pay for the ads if the tickers are not removed during the commercials by a given date.
On being asked whether this directive of ISA was fair or not, Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media, said, “It is a little premature to comment on this at the moment, since we are still in discussions with the ISA. Besides, it is practically impossible for an advertiser to dictate a broadcaster as to how the channel should look. We do understand the concern of the advertiser when he says that his ad should not be distorted, and that is an issue that NBA has ensured would be considered.”
A senior well-known advertiser and also a member of the ISA, on conditions of anonymity, said, “This issue is of great concern to us. With these tickers and towers, our commercials do get affected. Sometimes the logo is cut and at other times the pop-ups and towers come in and distort the advertisement. We have paid for the full ad, so why should we compromise? Most of the advertisers have come together and have taken a decision that if this concern is not met, we are ready to forgo the channels that are otherwise important to us.”
It may be recalled that on December 16, 2008, ISA had held a meeting with the NBA and its members, where it was pointed out that there should be no scrollers or tickers running during commercial breaks. In defense, the broadcasters had said that they were selling air time. On this the ISA had argued that it was not only air time, the broadcasters were also selling a size of the physical space as television was an audio-visual medium.
Post the December meeting, NBA, in its communication, said that news broadcasters may carry news tickers or content text during ad breaks. However, no commercial message of any other advertiser may be carried during an ad break, whether as a commercial ticker, a bug or in any other form.
Also, news broadcasters may vary the size of the screen during ad breaks to accommodate news and information that are relevant to the viewers. However, there will be no intrusion into the screen space of the ad/commercials. If any format requires such intrusion, the clients/agencies concerned should have prior knowledge of it, so that they have the option to refuse advertising in the given format.
When contacted, Annie Joseph, Secretary General, NBA, said, “I am not aware of any meeting or conversation we’ve had with the ISA.”