MRUC's Roda Mehta issues rejoinder defending IRS 2002

MUMBAI: MRUC Technical Committee chairperson Roda Mehta has given a rejoinder to WPP marketing communications South Asia CEO Andre Nair's recent remarks about IRS 2002 that were made during the course of an interview he gave to

Mehta's rejoinder is reproduced below in full:

During my recent visit to Mumbai, I had an opportunity to read the two interviews (on featuring the comments of Andre Nair and a response from Amit Ray. I was deeply saddened to read the intemperate and ill-informed comments on the IRS, necessitating a rejoinder. It is obvious that Andre is commenting on hearsay.

When Andre and I sat next to one another at the recent Abby Award ceremony of the Advertising Club of Bombay, he mentioned that he had been asked to chair the Technical Committee of the NRS. I wished him well ...and continue to do so.

In a spirit of healthy respect for each other's efforts on industry work and as an independent user of media databases, the MRUC had invited him to the launch of Round 10 of IRS on 29 April 03.

The letter of invitation, which I suspect he has not read, stated that the presentation was for the full year of 2002. So his comment that "the IRS full report is not out yet" is not correct. The file viewer was released in a few days' time after launch presentation. Given that not a single person from the WPP group of media companies was present that day, I guess there was no way he would have known that.

For someone to say "the IRS Report is a bungled thing and I am not the only person to say this" suggests he has personally studied the IRS carefully and has the affirmation of his colleagues and the market to make this statement. Sadly, neither Andre nor the senior members of his team have given MRUC the time of day to even view the IRS, while representatives are sent for attending meetings for audience measurement for much smaller single city media projects.

All surveys, by their very nature, are sample surveys and are not censuses. To claim the superiority of one over the other requires detailed knowledge. I am afraid that neither Andre nor the heads of MindShare or Fulcrum have even exposed themselves to the IRS product, despite several attempts made by the MRUC.

When Andre mentions that their "own validations have found superiority of the NRS on a key parameter - data consistency", I wonder if Andre has checked this out personally, given the past history of these two studies?

Just to clarify with just one instance, the NRS 2000 had placed the readership of Dainik Bhaskar at No.5 with 74.5 Lakhs (7.45 million). For the same period IRS 2000 ranked Dainik Bhaskar at No.1 with a readership of 109 lakh (10.9 million) readers. Later in 2001, NRS declared Dainik Bhaskar's readership at 119 lakhs (11.9 million), a jump of 45 lakh (4.5 million) readers in one year!! Nothing on circulation or market dynamics suggested that one publication could generate so many readers during this period! Perhaps, Andre would like to check this out?

Andre's explanation of the IRS being bungled was its "inability to answer or evade certain questions at their result presentation". If Andre had been there, or anyone else from his companies, he would have learnt that during the presentation, it had been clearly mentioned that there had been an error in the press release in which Hindustan had been unfortunately mentioned as Hindustan Times.

Being in a competitive market, Andre would know the licence that would be taken by an affected party to blow a minor issue up. So when "they ..... said they would issue a corrigendum, which the dictionary defines as an error to be corrected", I have no doubt that Andre will have the generosity to condone a typographical error.

Skirmishes between competitors is normal in the market place. But for impartial heads of organisations, endowed with the responsibility to give their clients the best advice, independent of any partisanship, it saddens me greatly to read the interview published on your site.

To even suggest that one of the finest clients any agency can have, namely Hindustan Lever, is only ironically associated with the IRS as a bulk buyer, is indiscreet. If there is one thing HLL does know, it is value for money! India's first AOR was created for HLL, which Andre has inherited.

When I was told that Andre was to head the media companies of WPP in India, I had welcomed the news and said to many that this was good for the group as to Andre the quality of inputs were as important as the integrity of his media recommendations.

I was delighted that a participant of an Asia Pacific Ogilvy & Mather Training Programme, where I had been invited as faculty, was to hand over the Distinctive Recognition Award to me at the recent Abby Awards by virtue of his responsibility as the industry's largest trustee of client media budgets.

I know he will not break my faith in him.

Roda Mehta, chairperson, MRUC Technical Committee

Also read:

"If I'm not going to get more audiences, why should I pay more?" WPP marketing communications south east Asia CEO Andre Nair

"The remarks of WPP Media executives on the IRS must be disregarded!" MRUC technical committee member Amit Ray on the Indian Readership Survey 2002

Latest Reads
Havas Group India appoints Priyanka Mehra as director marketing and communications

Havas Group India has appointed Priyanka Mehra as director marketing and communications. The appointment is in line with unifying communications across all disciplines under the Havas Group umbrella. Her remit includes working with the senior leadership in India and the regional communications team...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Avvatar sports nutrition urges people to take up a habit instead of a resolution in their new-year digital campaign #aadatbanalo

New year approaches and everyone starts making resolutions. And not surprisingly, most of those resolutions are about getting fit, losing weight and getting in shape.

MAM Marketing MAM
Worldwide Media’s marquee digital property filmfare short film awards announces the 3rd edition

Filmfare, the most credible name in the Indian entertainment industry is back with the 3rd edition of the prestigious Filmfare Short Film Awards 2019. The platform is inviting entries till 31st January.

MAM Marketing MAM
Qatar Airways launches Hollywood-style campaign 'A World Like Never Before'

Qatar Airways started the new year with the launch of the airline’s biggest and most cinematic brand campaign to date, ‘A World Like Never Before’. Conceived and created by 180 Kingsday – Qatar Airways’ agency on record – and produced by London production company, Ridley Scott Associates Films, the...

MAM Marketing MAM
Niine launches period tracker app in Hindi, English

Made-in-India sanitary napkin brand Niine has launched, in collaboration with Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), a period tracker app. The app has been developed in consultation with medical professionals and is said to be the first to be developed by a sanitary...

MAM Marketing Brands
Ipsos Study 74% Indians are content with their current body weight

According to a new study by Ipsos that explores world’s food habits, insights about Indians are particularly interesting as they bust myths about food habits of Indians

MAM Marketing MAM
91% Indians to spend more on e-com sites in 2019

Factors like growing traffic congestion across the cities are prompting more and more people to shop online reveals the business and brands predictions report 2019.

MAM Marketing Brands
Celebrating the self, Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2018-19 arrives in Mumbai

The 14th edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour celebrated the self and the individual through its extraordinary new concept-‘Pride’, in Mumbai.

MAM Marketing Brands
MS Dhoni turns world upside-down in Orient Electric's new ad for Aeroslim fan

Orient Electric, part of the USD 1.8 billion CK Birla group, launched an integrated advertising campaign to promote Aeroslim, “India’s first smart ceiling fan”. Aeroslim fan is IoT-enabled and can be controlled via Orient Smart mobile app or by using voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant. It...

MAM Marketing Brands

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories