Govt may set up own body if it doesn’t see action on BARC by November

05 Sep,2012

By A Correspondent

 

Even as I&B secretary Uday Verma met stakeholders of the three industry bodies who are setting up the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) – the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) – yesterday, MxMIndia learns from sources that the government is exceedingly upset with the delay and if it doesn’t see any action by November 2012, it may set up a joint government-industry committee to take things forward.

 

Other than the collective pressure of the News Broadcasters Association, the NDTV case against TAM and its principals and Doordarshan’s own misgivings on the issue are among the compelling reasons why the I&B ministry is in a rush for the formation of the BARC. The government is aware that like in the case of content regulation, it would not like to play a role in the issue, however it believes that precious time has been lost. MxMIndia was told the pressure consumer/advocacy groups and Members of Parliament have also been asking for a look-in at the ratings process.

 

While representatives of the IBF, ISA and AAAI have reassured the Secretary that all is well, the fact is that misgivings are still simmering given the recent charges that have been traded between the IBF and the ISA and AAAI.

 

BARC was mooted way back in 2008 and the formation process had started in 2010, with an announcement on the setting up earlier this year – in March at FICCI Frames, to be precise. However, there have been stumbling blocks, all of which have been are said to have been cleared.

 

BARC and consequently an all-new system of data collection could mean investment of around Rs 1000 crore, depending on the number of measuerement boxes to be installed. To start with, a CEO needs to be appointed as presently all stakeholders have their own business responsibilities, the demands of which are increasing with the festive season coming up.

 

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