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!!!