BARC India firmly dispels allegations of undue influence on its operations

Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC India), set up by the industry to accurately measure television viewership across the country, has issued a press statement wherein the industry body has dispelled allegations regarding its operations and organisation structure. 

Calling these allegations “malicious, baseless and grossly inaccurate”, BARC in its statement sought to highlight a few points to its stakeholder community. 

BARC India is a joint industry body, set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association India (AAAI), adhering to Section 8 of the Companies Act. It is a debt funded company, with no Foreign Direct Investment. 

Being an industry body promoted by IBF, ISA and AAAI, BARC India is neither owned by any broadcaster/ advertiser/ agency, nor controlled by any single company. The statement added that therefore, the question of undue influence of any single entity on BARC India’s operations did not arise. “It has a strict governance structure as laid down in its Articles of Association, which ensures its “arm’s length” relationship with all stakeholders,” the statement further said. 

President of Advertising Agencies Association India (AAAI), and BARC India Chairman Nakul Chopra said, “I am dismayed to see these incorrect and baseless remarks that have been made with no facts to support them at all. That too against the sanctity of a body set up jointly by the industry in the best interest of all stakeholders. BARC India should, in fact, be applauded as a shining example of how an entire ecosystem has come together to create a world class measurement system that is one of its kind. It should be applauded as in these positive and progressive times it provides essential and reliable data that is powering many industries make better decisions towards economic growth.” 

IBF President, Punit Goenka, added here, “We take pride in saying that BARC India works in an extremely transparent and neutral environment. Its data adds immense value to industry, and we would encourage and support it to remain focused on the great work its team does, and not get detracted by false statements and unattributed innuendos. BARC India has established a measurement system at par with international standards, which should be a matter of pride for the industry.” 

BARC India’s systems and processes have been accepted by industry, and also lauded in global forums. The robustness and credibility of BARC India’s data is further testified by regular audit of its processes by international firms like Ernst & Young and CESP. With a sample size of 135,000 individuals across the nation, BARC India operates the largest TV sample/ panel in the world – much larger than the US TV sample of 90,000. 

According to Sunil Kataria, Chairman of the Indian Society of Advertisers, “BARC India has provided industry with something it has been seeking – a robust and state-of-the-art measurement system that reports all India TV viewership with a high degree of fidelity. BARC India data helps advertisers reach and understand consumers even in the most remote and unexplored areas. It enables the Rs 25,000-crore advertising industry to take informed decisions since the data is truly representative of ground reality.” 

BARC India was set up as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendation of implementing a self-regulation model, under a joint industry body. None of its board members represent any particular company – they all represent, and are nominated by their respective stakeholder bodies. 

BARC India concluded its statement by re-affirming that it remained committed to maintaining the trust of its data users, and delivering on its mandate – to measure what India watches.

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