Television

ORG MARG, TAM Media give their response

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ORG MARG and TAM Media Research today issued releases responding to industry concerns about the credibility of the ratings systems they have instituted:

ORG MARG:

1) We are checking the level of accuracy of the lists of INTAM metered homes circulated anonymously yesterday. The checks so far indicate that, in the lists, some are indeed metered homes but others are not. We are also undertaking a full-feldged investigation to determine where the leak could have occured. The investigation is covering both internal and external possible sources of the leak.

2)The manner in which the lists have been circulated (through an anonymous letter) in the media would suggest that there is a vested interest behind this, who is clearly nor happy with independent ratings and wants to discredit them. We are hoping that our investigation will throw some light on it. In this context, we are obviously concerned about the comment made by an industry leader on TV yesterday that he had heard that someone hired private detectives to follow our field staff in order to trace the panel home.

3)Obviously wherever our investigation confirms that a panel household has been traced, such a household will be immediately dropped. Between yesterday and today, we have already dropped all homes where even journalistic contact has been reported.

4)It is worth mentioning that, as a matter of course, INTAM carries out a series of panel quality checks to assess the validity of the data. These checks do not, prima facie, indicate any kind of tampering with the data. It would therefore be wrong to jump to conclusion that just because someone has been able to get his hands on the list, the data is incorrect. For that to be so, members of the panel households would have to be approached, and their co-operation obtained to actively key in false data; the checks that we carry out every week do not provide any such cause for concern.

5)We have always ensured that lists of panel housholds are accessible to the absolute minimum number of our employees. However, we are further tightening all security measures throughout the country.

6)We feel it is very important to consult all INTAM subscribers (channels, advertisers, advertising agencies, production houses, investment analysts, etc), and will be meeting them very soon to do so.

TAM Media Research:

1)We are currently undertaking a complete investigation to identify the possible sources of leakage. The investigation will also explore the vested interests behind the circulation of the lists to the media. The fact that this was circulated through an anonymous letterimplies it was done to cast aspersions on the quality of the data provided.

2)A meeting of all subscribers is proposed to be convened shortly where we plan to share with them the action plan that we propose to undertake.Even though there is no evidence of data tampering, as a matter of abundant caution, we are proposing to completely revamp the panel in Mumbai.

3)As a first step we have contacted all our existing panel members to ascertain whether anyone contacted them to falsify the TV viewing data. We have also initiated a complete review of the panel all across the country and enhancing the security systems and procedures.

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