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IRS 2013 data rectified, what next?!

As the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) announced the lifting of voluntary abeyance placed on the IRS 2013 data (with effect from 20th August 2014), parties involved in the business have been churning out mixed reactions to the announcement. Adgully spoke to a few marketers and publishers to know their take on the issue and the possible solutions that follow.

Sanjay Tripathy, ‎Senior EVP & Head (Marketing, Product, Digital & E-Commerce), HDFC Life Insurance stated that the as revalidation process is complete, the latest numbers could be used for the marketing decision making purpose. “The entire media marketing fraternity was looking forward to an advanced measurement process for the 20000 Cr. print industry. The new IRS is a significant step forward since it uses robust processes and modern technology like the dual-CAPI, and is built by the entire industry to best serve the needs of both media users and publications. This will help planners equip information that is truly reflective of the population and also the numbers will be robust for better planning outcome” he added.

Another advertiser on condition of anonymity stated that while it is early to comment on the announcement he foresees windy times for the ratings system on the whole. “While the heads at the survey have tried to clear the dust on the authenticity of the numbers, I have my doubts as to how many publishers would still want to be associated with this ratings set-up. In that case, it would call for troubling times for marketers in a few ways. However, on the other side, many clients have set relationships with specific publishers which in many ways will be ratings agnostic. However, long-term repercussions of the announcement may vary as revenues and investments will then decide on these relationships”, he added.

K K Goenka, MD, Prabhat Khabar stated, “Though the data has been rectified and is a clear set of numbers, I still believe that there are some things which we, along with others are not convinced. However, since we learn that it is rectified by authentic bodies of the industry, we accept this announcement with a singular aim that its time for the industry to move over the issue and look to set up an authenticated – singular currency that is the need of the hour for both – publishers and advertisers”. He goes onto to state that publishers who have featured well in the survey make take advantage of this and optimize the festive season round the corner. “However, it may not have any major impact on the whole as the industry has manage to do quantifiable business, even without IRS in the past”.

A senior publisher, unwilling to disclose his identity stated, “While the MRUC has put in lot of efforts to do away with the negative cast that certain loopholes have spelled on the results and the system, I believe the rectification of anomalies is still not satisfactory by many of those party to this issue. I believe that many publishers and advertisers would agree to and follow the MRUC diktat, in light of the festive season and with an aim to not be on the losing end of the business; but at the same time there are many publishers who still remain unhappy with the rectified results. Hence I foresee a time when many of the complaining publishers may step back and denotifying the shear existence and importance of the survey system”.

Seconding this opinion was Goenka who also believed that, if such errors crop up continuously, IRS may loose its sheen in the near future.

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