1 Minute View: Time for agencies, broadcasters to work together

02 May,2013

First some useless statistic. We did a dipstick of television viewers in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and interior Bihar to figure if their television experience had improved given the absence of ads.


No, they said, very emphatically. We enjoy the ads. We can plan our cooking and dinner accordingly. One couple we spoke to even said that often when a soap’s storyline stretches much, it’s the ads which provide the real entertainment. “That was the case in the Doordarshan days and even now with all the saas-bahu-reality shows era,” one homemaker told us. Ads, according to our dipstick, are a pain for consumers when there are innumerable breaks in movies and award shows.


The IBF and AAAI are meeting this evening (May 2) in Mumbai to iron out the problems, though not everyone is too happy with the IBF decision to ask its members to yank out advertisements released by all those unwilling to switch to its net billing system.


While media agencies MxMIndia spoke with are in agreement that the net billing cycle is what they have to look for as far as broadcasting is concerned, smaller agencies don’t agree. They say that their survival depends on the 15 percent commission. “Unlike the large agencies – where media agencies may charge 2-2.5% commission and creative agencies charge their own retainership, smaller agencies dish out creative services thanks to the 15%. It’s important hence for broadcasters to not forget us, especially since they are now targeting advertising from SMEs and small-town India.”


The broadcasters we spoke to are insistent on changing the rules since they are being taken to task by the tax authorities. They want to be on the right side of the law. An agency CxO though countered this with a refrain that if broadcasters are indeed serious about doing all things right then they must also stick to the 12-minute per hour rules.


Evidently, there are more cross-currents at play between the media agencies and broadcasters, some of which were also seen at the time of the constituting of BARC a few months back.


It’s time for all parties to bury the differences. Rather than fight it out through the media, we would urge that today’s meeting between the stakeholders sees a resolution of all the points of concern


The broadcast media can’t afford to operate without revenues, the agencies can’t lose commissions and advertisers need all the promotional arsenal.


As for viewers, allow us to be a little cruel: they too are missing all the entertainment that comes from the TVCs.


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