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NDTV Vs TAM: WPP responds to NDTV's 6 questions

Reveals a part of email from NDTV's lawyers to Kantar's lawyers on August 21 enquiring about the possibility of a settlement meeting

NDTV Vs TAM: WPP responds to NDTV’s 6 questions

 

Reveals a part of email from NDTV's lawyers to Kantar's lawyers on August 21 enquiring about the possibility of a settlement meeting

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | August 28, 2012

The war of press notes continues. Soon after NDTV brought to light certain issues in its fight to cleanse the TAM ratings system, WPP lost no time in coming out with a late-evening (in India) statement yesterday. It stated: “We welcome NDTV's statement that it has no desire to get into a prolonged trial by media. We have issued statements only in order to correct selective and misleading statements in the media. “

The statement said: “NDTV raises some detailed questions, which will be and have been addressed in the proper forum: with the industry, or in the proper court, not in an exchange of media statements. As we have noted several times in previous statements, TAM welcomes the opportunity to address the facts. In the meantime, TAM continues, as it has done in the past, to work to improve its system, with the support and involvement of its many stakeholders and its highly respected management.

“We are pleased that NDTV recognises, in this latest announcement, that Kantar, Nielsen and TAM have in fact been working with NDTV, over a long period, to address improvements in the system. It is not true that, as NDTV has previously stated, "nothing" was being done about NDTV's concerns.”

On NDTV’s charge that WPP was obfuscating issues, the statement said: “There has been no obfuscation. The nature of TAM's business requires continuous investment and technology and TAM is committed to working with the industry to continuously improve the use of its technology, coverage and transparency. Stringent measures have been taken to protect the panel against repeated attempts at tampering by unknown persons. Discussions continue, as they have for some time, with industry stakeholders to ensure quality and reliability of the data.”

Regarding who approached whom for a settlement, the WPP statement said: “We do think it is important, for the record, to clarify the discussions around settlement. As we have said, and NDTV now admits, the NDTV CEO initiated a request for settlement discussions on July 27. Vikram Chandra's email to Eric Salama was very clear in suggesting settlement discussions take place before "[NDTV] proceed with costly litigation". As recently as August 21, NDTV's lawyers wrote to Kantar's lawyers enquiring about the possibility of a settlement meeting. The precise wording of that email was: "please let us know what the current status is in relation to settlement possibilities and/or a meeting, which we believe is the subject of certain email communications between Eric Salama of Kantar and Vikram Chandra of NDTV." In addition to Vikram's Chandra's email attempting to initiate a settlement meeting, NDTV's lawyers have also referred to the possibility of settlement discussions on other occasions.”

Far from WPP engaging a "massive PR machine" or a "large team" as NDTV has said, to deal with the various statements made by NDTV, in fact a small team of 4-5 WPP staff have dealt with the issues raised by NDTV, over the UK bank holiday, WPP has said.

WPP also claimed that “it is not unusual for TV stations to seek to blame the measurement of audience data for their falling ratings, but we note that NDTV is in the habit of quoting TAM data when it suits it.” For example, in NDTV's statement of highlights for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, NDTV quoted TAM ratings to demonstrate that NDTV Good Times was "the number 1 lifestyle channel in the country as per TAM ratings. Advertising revenue has seen a substantial jump in the second quarter of the year."

As for the "lawsuit", WPP insisted that “we remain of the firm view that it has not been served, the claims in that law suit have no merit whatsoever, and that it has been issued in an entirely inappropriate jurisdiction. However, we will deal with those issues in the courts, at the appropriate time.”

“We reiterate the pride TAM takes in the services it has been delivering to the market for 14 years and TAM, together with its highly respected and admired management, looks forward to continuing to engage with the industry to meet its needs,” the statement concluded.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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