The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) deserves complete credit for giving the industry a currency in the absence of any other, and for bringing out data in time even after making it quarterly. However, readership measurement in India per se needs concerted attention, and hence, it is important for the industry to work with a deadline for the proposed IRS-NRS merger.
It appears that the most controversial pitch of 2010 is finally nearing a conclusion. Reckitt Benckiser is said to be parking its Rs 200 crore upwards media business with ZenithOptimedia. The FMCG major is in the process of making the shift. Neither the agency officials nor the client have confirmed this development yet.
India has not been the best of markets for the public relations industry. Most journalists eye ‘PR people’ with doubt and skepticism, and as people who call either to push press releases or sell a story. Well, even as PR professionals have to battle with all of that, the Niira Radia tapes have put PR in a whole new ‘light’, and I find myself wondering what are the likes of Vaishnavi and Vitcom thinking right now…
Global recession has played its part in changing many rules of the advertising business as we know it. However, now as many markets are seeing growth once again, a sense of the new normal is setting in. In a coffee conversation with exchange4media, OMD’s Global CEO Mainardo de Nardis explained that the ‘new normal’ was in the right direction.
It is hardly surprising anymore, when one gets to hear that ‘no other channel was allowed there but Doordarshan’ like Barack Obama’s India visit. Again, ‘It is alright if someone coughed up a bomb for it but the coverage must be shared with Doordarshan’ – like is the case is in nearly all cricket series. Being the government’s channel, Doordarshan enjoys advantages that others can remotely hope for. Something like BBC in the UK. Why then, does Doordarshan lag so far behind in being a serious player?
It was not business as usual at the exchange4media office on October 20, 2010, when Laura Desmond, Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, spent the morning with the reporters and senior editors as the Guest Editor for exchange4media.com, for the day. Her approach towards industry news and developments was sharp, firm and focussed, and her advice was forward looking.
...To a number of shows that keep you on top. At least that is what seems to be working for Star Plus right now. Despite some of the big ticket shows on Hindi general entertainment channels, Star Plus has stayed comfortably ahead of competition. Is the ‘three-on-top’ or ‘no clear leader’ syndrome of the Hindi GEC still valid?
FICCI Frames is rarely known for engaging the advertising community. Yet this year, the event saw none other than WPP’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, as the Keynote speaker of the day. In typical Martin Sorrell style, the advertising visionary divided his address in points to give his view on why he was bullish on the communication services or marketing services industry.
The announcement of Karan Johar as the Co-Chairman of FICCI Frames has led to many conversations on what this new thinking, known for its creative and freshness, and more importantly, ideas that can engage the younger audience, bring to FICCI Frames, which is now in its 11th year.
The media industry has often got caught in the debate whether two measurement systems would help the industry grow or create a recipe for disaster for media sellers and buyers alike. The merger of NRS and IRS may have sorted that dilemma for the print industry and the clear strength of TAM Media Research has kept things simple for the broadcasting industry. However, aMap is present as a second television measurement system, and time and again has created the dreaded confusion as well.
The very concept of pre-IPL coverage seems to thrive on controversies. If the first season was about the format, the second was about uncertainties around the broadcasting rights and the venue itself. And the third season has begun with its share of controversies – first allegations of excluding Pakistani players from the team auctions and then the very access of the games to news media.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel has put its mammoth media business up for review and has invited leading agencies to participate in the process. Unlike the traditional route, where the outdoor medium is pitched independently, Airtel pitch has been called for all mediums. As is known, Madison Media was the incumbent on the business for mediums such as TV, print and radio; the outdoor business was handled by GroupM. The account size is pegged in the vicinity of Rs 350-400 crore.
Last week, in an expected yet interesting development, Rajesh Kamat was announced the COO of Viacom18 Group – essentially meaning more than Colors falling on Kamat’s plate and the conversation in many office corridors was that Kamat is the ‘opening flavour of the year’. And in all the conversations I’ve had on this, the discussion comes back to Uday Shankar. For every thought that Shankar is going to face another tough year, there is another one of ‘hats off to the man’. And that is the very thing about being Uday Shankar...
India TV recently completed five years, and the way the channel’s Managing Director Ritu Dhawan sees it, India TV is in its youth now. To signify this on-screen, the channel donned a new look on January 21, 2010. Dhawan explained that the effort this time was to infuse science in the creative process. US-based Cinemagic was appointed to do the job.
Viacom18 has announced some key changes in its organisation structure. Rajesh Kamat has been promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer of the Viacom18 Group. Ashish Patil is moved from MTV to Kamat’s team as Sr. VP- New Ventures and GM - Youth Movies. INX Media’s Vikas Verma has joined Viacom18’s youth channel, as the head of Creative & Content – brand MTV.
Media service agencies clearly wanted the New Year to begin with a buzz. 2010 has seen Vizeum, OMD India, Starcom Worldwide announcing new businesses, and ZenithOptimedia making a slew of announcements with change in role for Pavan Chandra, appointment of Dnyanada Chaudhari and then the umbrella branding of VivaKi for Indian Media Exchange and the consequent restructuring. But of all these news, it was Chaudhari’s move that had many talking – after all Chaudhari has left a client like HUL to work in a media service brand...