Stung by the recent controversy over the accuracy of television ratings, TAM Media Research, a Nielsen-Kantar joint venture, has decided to appoint a security officer and a security agency to ensure authenticity. It is also open to the industry reviewing its research processes that determine its reports and the meter households left out of reporting for being data outliers.
TAM has also agreed to independent auditing, faster panel rotation and putting in place an internal audit team to safeguard the interest of broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies.
After a meeting with the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) yesterday, TAM said it was looking to expand in six metros. The agency plans to expand to 10,000 homes across 225 cities, compared with the current 8,150 meters across 161 cities.
- Appointment of a security officer and a security agency
- Expansion in number of meters in the existing 6 top metros
- A review by the industry of research processes that determine what TAM reports in its weekly reports. And what meter homes are left out of reporting for being data outliers
- Getting the outlier homes independently audited
- Faster panel rotation
- An internal audit team to be put in place as soon as possible
In a joint statement, ISA Chairman Bharat Patel and AAAI President Arvind Sharma said, “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 research agency needs to share its proposed action plan with us.”
Both associations said they were looking for immediate implementation of TAM’s proposals. “We look forward to speedy implementation of the six action steps outlined by TAM. With the formation of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on the anvil, it will be appropriate for us to request BARC to review whether these steps are adequate,” read the statement.
Last month, NDTV had accused TAM and its promoter companies Nielsen and Kantar Media Research of “knowingly allowing manipulation of viewership data in favour of channels that are willing to provide bribes”. A lawsuit filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York lists 42 counts against Nielsen, Kantar, TAM and other defendants. These range from breach of fiduciary duty and gross negligence to tortuous and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage.