Even as the Ministry of I&B and Prasar Bharati have decided to jointly investigate allegations of fudging of television viewership by TAM Media Research, the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) have met with TAM to draw up an action plan. TAM is the research agency that conducts TV audience measurement. Much of the media planning and buying by ad agencies depends on TAM ratings.

“As key users of audience research data, advertisers and advertising agencies need to know facts directly from the research agency. And if there are challenges at any level in the research, the agency needs to share its proposed action plan with us,” said Bharat Patel, ISA chairman.

TAM has shared its perspective with the ISA and AAAI and outlined six key steps — it will appoint a security officer and a security agency; it will expand in number of meters in the six top metros; it will undertake a review of research processes that determine what TAM reports in its weekly bulletins. With regard to meter homes that are left out of reporting as they are data outliers, TAM has said it will get the outlier homes independently audited. It has also included faster panel rotation, and will put an internal audit team in place as soon as possible.

With NDTV's lawsuit against the television ratings provider, AAAI and ISA had decided to meet with senior executives. Another meeting with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation is planned this week.



(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 18, 2012)
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