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Ashish Bhasin, Anita Nayyar, Vikram Sakhuja on post-TRAI tariff regime scenario

The advertising industry is gearing up for the volatility in viewership data following the implementation of the TRAI-mandated new tariff order from February 1, 2019. In an advisory issued, the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has asked stakeholders not use to use the viewership data during the transition period for the purpose of media planning, evaluation and buying perspectives. 

Given the high variance in pre- and post-evaluation of viewership data, it is seen as being unpredictable and hence, unusable. The ISA feels that at least 6 weeks would be required to assess the stability of the viewership numbers post the implementation of the new tariff structure. 

Speaking to Adgully, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO – South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, said, “This is a good step in a period where there is volatility in the market place. When there is a period of volatility in data, it would be incorrect to use that data for a pre- and post-comparison as it is obviously not going to throw you the right answers. Data will have to be used cautiously in this period. Advertisers will have to be careful that they are not misled by volatile data in this 4-6-week transition period, hence I feel it is a good step.” 

Bhasin further said that such a step would not have any significant impact on media planning or buying because it was for a short duration. “It will not have a big impact of advertising as most of the deals are inked for long-term periods,” he added. 

Anita Nayyar, CEO – India and South Asia, Havas Media Group, noted that the industry has been aware of this development for some time now and there are obvious apprehensions, given non-availability of data. “One hears of many clients postponing or cancelling campaigns during this time. However, there are many who are going by gut and taking the risks. In the absence of data, the non-risk/ safer bets will be high reach genre/ channels. Many channels are also assuring advertisers of adequate compensation in case of drops,” Nayyar added. 

Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH, opined, “The TRAI channel tariff order has the potential to create high flux in TV ratings as we can’t predict how consumers will exercise choice of channels. BARC has shown a capability to pick up the volatility. Agencies will analyse for channels with flux and stability and attempt to minimise risk of rating erosion.”

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