“I’m optimistic that BARC will be able to measure all screens very soon:” Shashi Sinha

MUMBAI: Stressing on the importance of measurement, IPG Mediabrands CEO Shashi Sinha is of the opinion that with the way things are shaping up along with technological advancements, India's new television ratings measurement body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India will be able to measure all screens very soon and not just television.

Giving a keynote at a media review organised by The Ad Club of India, Sinha said, “If you cannot measure, you cannot control. In India, measurement is not always about science and technology, it’s also about giving stakeholders a perspective. The television industry is migrating from TAM to BARC and hence witnessing a lot of glitches. But going forward with how things are shaping up and the technologies that BARC is using I am optimistic that BARC will be able to measure all the screens very soon. It is very important to have common matrices and single source when it comes to measurement.”

Sinha also expressed his anguish about the fact that besides having so many powerful associations, India does not have an organised measurement mechanism.

The media review was organised to discuss the challenging issue: Continuous Partial Attention (CPA) of Audiences and was attended by key media, advertising and marketing veterans.

The theme of the discussion was ‘Is Anyone Listening,’ which began with Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) executive committee chairman Pradeep Guha announcing the road map of Ad Asia Summit, which will be hosted by Taipei in November. Every year, the India delegation is led by a stalwart from either media, advertising or marketing agency. Guha announced, “2015 India delegate in Ad Asia will be led by Colors CEO Raj Nayak and the emphasis will be around digital - the theme of 2015 Ad Asia.”

Media veteran Meenakshi Menon threw light on the lack of communication between the advertiser, agency and client. “The model we are following is totally broken. The advertising model cannot move like an ostrich in a lightening fast world. India has always shown the world how to do work differently.”

Highlighting the factors that play a pivotal role in bringing about agency reviews for accounts, Menon’s said, “Change of CMO – 63 per cent, business performance - 78 per cent, creative dissatisfaction - 59 per cent, general relationship - 56 per cent and compensation - seven per cent. Discount can be an icing on the cake but can never be the reason behind the selection of an agency. Additionally, there is a strong distrust amongst clients and agencies, which needs to be addressed and worked. Moreover, the guys in advertising need to believe in themselves.”

Contradicting Menon’s viewpoint, Google India agency business director Punitha Arumugham said, “Agencies are the most effective listeners in the business and they are doing some good and progressive work. They are the only stakeholders in the fraternity, who listen to everybody.”

Arumugam abbreviated ‘Listen’ from the topic’s ‘Is Anyone Listening,’ wherein L stood for Leverage Insights, I for Investigative Features, S for Seek moments, T for Think Moonshots, E for Employ Curious People and N was for Never stop being amazing.”   

In his end note, moderator of the panel discussion, Madison World chairman and managing director Sam Balsara left the audience to ponder over a few pertinent questions. “With new ratings and measurement bodies coming in, should the fundamentals and principles remain same or should they also change with the change of mechanisms?” he asked. Balsara also threw light on the inconsistencies in subscription fees while referring to the migration from BARC and TAM but accepted the fact that measurement is an essential tool as, “matrices are the building bricks of any plan,” he concluded.

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