MUMBAI: Everyone and his grandmother expected eight TV broadcast
networks to be without advertising from this morning as the
deadline for them to revert to weekly ratings had expired.
But even at the time of writing this report, TVCs were running
merrily on all the channels, raising many an eyebrow - and
questions. Were the advertisers playing footsie? Did TV broadcasters
retract and go back to weekly ratings? Or was a compromise
arrived at between all the parties?
The fact is none of these has really happened.
The reason why TVCs were not pulled off from this morning
relates to a technicality in the deal contracts that broadcasters
sign with advertisers and agencies. A clause clearly states
that any cancellation of a TVC requires a 14 day notice period
to be given to broadcasters, and in addition, also a mention
of an alternative date on which the cancellation will be made
good in favour of the channel.
The broadcast networks have therefore refused to take ads
off their channels stating this clause.
"Broadcasters have responded saying they will not accept
cancellation notices even for spot deals; they are saying
all deals have to be honoured. The fact of the matter is we
could not have enforced any cancellations till end July or
early August," says the head of a media agency on conditions
of anonymity. "Yet the agencies and advertisers decide
to push ahead and send the cancellations with a 72-hour deadline
in the hope that broadcasters would retract after being threatened."
At the time of writing, agencies and advertisers were huddling
together to understand how they could force channels to work
around this clause.
"I don't see any recourse for advertisers or agencies
at this stage," says a media observer."but to wait
till end July. For now - at least - it looks like broadcasters
have won another victory - albeit for a fortnight."
Watch this space for further developments!!!