Nielsen replaces Hansa Research to handle IRS

MUMBAI: The Media Research Users‘ Council (MRUC) has decided to award the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) contract to the Nielsen Company.

The decision was made on the recommendation of Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI). Earlier, the IRS contract rested with Hansa Research.

The formal award of contract will follow a process of legal due diligence. A comprehensive nine month process that began in November 2011, with the formation of the RSCI by its sponsors, the MRUC (Media Research Users‘ Council), and ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) preceded the decision.

The process involved the active participation of 20 senior representatives of advertisers, agencies and publishers who served on the RSCI managing committee, as well some of the sub committees formed to vet every aspect of the submissions - from technical superiority to fieldwork integrity, research cost, organisation strength and stability. Another 24 senior industry professionals contributed to the technical deliberations, under the chairmanship of the technical committee Paritosh Joshi.

Joshi said, "Proposals were received from the most hallowed names in the media measurement universe and the quality of submissions was uniformly high. The knowledge and skill on display drew upon the very finest professional capability available globally. Developing an RFP award recommendation was an unusually challenging task. The Nielsen Company proposal, that has won the approval of the Council, was exceptional in its methodological rigour, comprehensiveness and future readiness. The design recommendation and resources committed to the project should enable the Indian Readership Survey to reassert its position of preeminence in Indian media measurement."

RSCI chairman Lynn de Souza said, "Our objective through the process was twofold - one, to achieve the construct of a study that would be the gold standard all over the world in readership measurement. And two, to involve all industry stakeholders in the decision making process with a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. The months and years ahead will present several challenges as we introduce a first ever data capture system - the Dual Screen CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interview) - a system that will reduce interview time, respondent fatigue and confusion, and interviewer bias of any kind."

She added, "I am overwhelmed by the seriousness and commitment of the many industry seniors who gave freely of their time on weekends, and holidays as well, to help the RSCI arrive at a decision. Thank you would not be enough. Ravi Kiran, our marketing chairman, was also very helpful in enabling us to identify new revenue sources given that the new IRS will be captured, stored, disseminated and analysed digitally."

Nielsen India MD - media Prashant Singh said, "The MRUC‘s belief in the innovative techniques and technology proposed for the forthcoming Indian Readership Survey will certainly transform market research in India, improving quality and the effectiveness of gathering and applying consumer insights for businesses and marketers. Nielsen is honoured to have been chosen as its partner in this landmark study that will no doubt shape all future research across India."

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