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e4m Conclave 2009: ‘Accountability can’t be equal to penalty during recession’

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e4m Conclave 2009: ‘Accountability can’t be equal to penalty during recession’

Media accountability also came under the scanner at the fourth exchange4media Conclave, held in Mumbai on June 4, 2009. The eminent panel comprising Ajit Varghese, LV Krishnan, Nandini Dias, Ronita Mitra, Sanjay Tripathy and Shantonu Aditya, debated the growing trend of marketers rushing to accountable media platforms like online and radio, especially during times of slowdown. The session was chaired by PV Narayanamoorthy.

The day-long Conclave was presented by Star News and powered by Hindustan Times. Yuva was the associate sponsor for the event.

Commencing the discussion, Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal, pointed out that people shouldn’t confuse accountability with measurability. “Accountability has nothing to do with recession, either you are accountable or you are not. The shift in media spends towards digital, mobile or BTL is happening because of the changing consumer behaviour and not due to the economic recession,” Dias emphasised.

Supporting the rise of the measured media spends phenomenon, Ronita Mitra, Head of Corporate Brand Group at ICICI Bank, said that consistent accountability – not just during recession, but normal business cycles as well – was the need of the hour.

According to LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media, time had come fo all media platforms to join their hands and help in creating a single seamless media-matrix to bring in uniform accountability across platforms. He informed that TAM was already in the process of coming up with such a matrix for TV and radio combined.

On slightly different track, Ajit Varghese, Managing Director, Maxus India, was of the opinion that “measurement matrixes is a means and not an end in itself. Accountability can’t be equal to penalty during recession, because if a medium worked in normal times, I see no reason why it can’t work during slowdown as well. It all boils down to the quest: should we believe in what we measure? Or should we measure what we believe”.

Though strongly in favour of an accountable media that gave marketers ROI, Sanjay Tripathy, EVP and Head – Marketing, HDFC Standard Life, said, “For a marketer, consumer engagement is the key. Accountability shouldn’t become a substitute for engagement for brands, as some of the best campaigns any brand has done is not based on accountability.”

Shantonu Aditya, CEO, UTV Broadcasting, observed, “Accountability is a state of mind. In the last one and a half years, there has been an over-supply of media with all the platforms witnessing over 50 per cent media proliferation.”


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