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IBF tells members to postpone net billing dispatch to agencies by a week

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MUMBAI: Advertising and media agencies in India have got a breather on the net billing issue. Even as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) announced that its members would move towards net billing for advertising carried on TV channels from the first billing cycle in April, it followed it up with another circular dated 15 April asking them to "delay the generation and dispatch of bills on a net basis by a week in order to facilitate the discussion between the sub group of the IBF and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) which is seeking to find a solution to the issue."

Members of the IBF are grappling with notices served on them by the income tax authorities for non-payment of TDS on the 15 per cent agency commission, which shows up in the gross bills they present to media agencies. The IBF had therefore decided to move to a net billing system without the agency commission being displayed in the bills.

With another week in the bag, the IBF, AAAI and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) are planning to have a joint meeting in the coming days to plan their course of action and come up with solutions which work for all the three bodies.

One of the measures being considered is a joint representation to the finance ministry on the issue once a common strategy is developed. KPMG and E&Y have been roped in to give their opinion and on the way forward.

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