BARC India’s independent disciplinary committee will have representations from all three industry bodies namely IBF, AAAI and ISA.
Mumbai: BARC India has decided to set up an independent disciplinary committee that will hear all issues related to ratings disputes and unfair practices that will be headed by a retired judge, and the committee will be authorised to take action against channels which try to tamper with BARC’s panel homes, where BARC has installed its meters, with the intention to manipulate the TV ratings.
The independent disciplinary committee will have representations from all three industry bodies — the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI). It will also have two or three independent experts on the board from the measurement science field and from the media industry.
“We are setting up an independent body, which will be headed by a retired high court or Supreme Court judge,” Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman of BARC India and Group CEO at Viacom18. According to Vats, setting up of this committee is his top priority and once in place, it will hear all the complaints related to measurement issues. He argued that as this board will be led by a retired judge, it will be able to tackle most of the cases.
The disciplinary committee will follow a due process, which will see an oral or written reprimand for parties it found guilty of mala fide practices, followed by a penalty. Failure to comply may attract harsh action in terms of suspension or termination of the ratings.
BARC ratings are the currency for transaction in media and advertisers and agencies spend over Rs 25,000 crore on TV advertising on the basis of these ratings, which makes it very important to have a credible, holistic and objective measurement body and system.
BARC India has witnessed cases of unfair practise, involving the alleged attempts to tamper the panel homes in which the agency has took stringent measures against couple of broadcasters. Formation of disciplinary committee headed by a retired judge would add the much needed power to the Measurement agency to bolster its vigil over the possible malpractices and deliver a foolproof data.