The show of strength follows reports that Multi Screen Media will cut off ties with TAM and that other networks might just follow.
While the issue related to the discontinuation of TAM's ratings by some broadcasters heats up, both the advertisers' and the agencies' representative bodies have extended their support to the only television audience measurement system in India, TAM.
AAAI says that it will hold broadcasters responsible for deliveries as per signed agreements based on the TV Ratings System. Says Arvind Sharma, president, AAAI and Leo Burnett chairman and CEO of India subcontinent, "The move by broadcasters to discontinue with ratings is ill-advised and not in the interest of advertisers, advertising agencies or broadcasters. It will lead to overpaying and underpaying of advertising time, both of which will lead to a collapse of TV as an advertising medium. The ratings from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) are yet some time away and until they are released it is critical to continue with the current system. Most broadcasters all over the world have some issue with media measurement systems but that does not mean that the system must be abandoned. Instead it must be improved and identified gaps must be plugged."
Meanwhile, Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) believes the rating system needs to continue for the smooth functioning of the industry as it's the very foundation of the commercial process, media planning and pricing.
According to ISA, any measurement system should appropriately reflect the viewership pattern and should not be judged on a short term basis. The best course of action is to engage in a constructive dialogue and pursue continuous improvement. 'While some broadcasters have stopped using the current rating system for measurement, as advertisers we support it and will continue using it till another credible measurement system is made available. Any action taken which is detrimental to the measurement system would be detrimental to the industry at large,' a statement by ISA read.
"An industry-accepted rating system is the need of the hour and ISA is working with rest of the industry to ensure this is in place and any action to the contrary will have an adverse impact," says Hemant Bakshi, chairman of the managing committee, ISA and executive director, home and personal care, Hindustan Unilever Limited.