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Govt pushes for adequate representation in BARC

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MUMBAI: Don‘t mistake the alternative television ratings system to be under the total control of the private broadcasters, advertising agencies and the advertisers. The government is pushing for adequate representation inside BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), the new entity that will lay out the television audience measurement system in India.

BARC has been formed with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) having a 60 per cent stake and the remaining 40 per cent being shared equally between the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA).

Prasar Bharati, the public broadcaster, was to benefit from the formation of BARC as the TV ratings coverage would have spread across wider geographies. Now the government also wants DAVP (Directorate of Advertising and Publicity) , which channelises all advertising spends made by the government, to have some voice.

In a meeting on 4 September called by the government and attended by the IBF, the AAAI and the ISA members, the government has said that it wanted adequate representation. "The Information and Broadcasting ministry asked us what steps were being taken to include the Prasar Bharati and the DAVP (in BARC).They want adequate representation from Prasar Bharati and DAVP to have adequate representation in BARC to look after the Government‘s interest. We have heard the suggestions and will consider them," AAAI president and Leo Burnett chairman and CEO of India subcontinent Arvind Sharma told Indiantelevision.com.

The meeting was chaired by I&B ministry secretary Uday Kumar Verma.

The three bodies were also asked to nominate an advisory committee on BARC by the end of next week .

"The push has been to move BARC forward. The secretary has asked us (AAAI, IBF and ISA) to nominate a high powered committee whose role will be to guide and advise (on BARC) by the end of next week. We as BARC need to identify and concur on the names," said Sharma.

During the meeting, the secretary also referred to the Amit Mitra Committee report which suggested that statisticians, sociologists and demographers should form part of the technical committee.

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