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BARC India stakeholders meet today to decide on next Chairman

The stakeholders will also approve the names of four independent directors to be included in the Board of Directors

The three stakeholders of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India - Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) - are likely to decide the next Chairman of the joint industry body in a stakeholders’ meeting scheduled to take place today.

The three-year term of Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) nominated chairman, Punit Goenka, came to an end on January 28.

The stakeholders will also approve the names of four independent directors to be included in the Board of Directors, in line with the TRP committee report and recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). These names have been proposed by different members of the industry bodies. had last week reported that the next BARC India Chairman might be nominated by AAAI, as ISA is skipping its turn again. 

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in its January 12 order to BARC India for resuming TRPs for the news genre, had expressed satisfaction over the rating agency’s efforts to implement the TRP committee’s recommendations. 

The sources in the ministry told that the government was comfortable with the induction of independent members to begin with. However, the I&B Ministry had conveyed to BARC stakeholders that the rating agency should have an independent chairman in the next three years.

“Independent members or people from outside the industry are being inducted into the Board and the stakeholders will approve four names of high repute and stature. However, given that the government has given three years’ time for appointing an independent chairman and any independent member will take time to get hold of the industry, the next chairman is surely going to be nominated by AAAI,” said an industry veteran.

BARC India’s Technical Committee is headed by Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO of Madison Media. Sakhuja represents AAAI. 

When asked if two representatives of AAAI can hold chairman positions together at BARC India, if the BARC India Chairman post goes to AAAI as per rotation, another industry observer said that there is no harm. 

“When Nakul Chopra was appointed BARC India Chairman, Mediabrands India CEO Shashi Sinha was already the Technical Committee Chairman. If it was not an issue then, how could it even be a point to discuss? This can, at best, be termed a ‘spin’ given by media,” the observer said.

A senior broadcast executive, speaking under conditions of anonymity, told that this will indeed be better for restoring BARC India’s credibility. “The broadcasters are the ones who question the credibility of the currency and continue their charges of favouritism for individual gains. Advertisers and their agencies do not go and manipulate the data. It would be an ideal situation if both the chairmen are from AAAI,” he said.

Rotation-wise chairman for BARC India

According to BARC India’s constitution, the Chairman of the Board of Directors is determined by rotation, where IBDF has the right to nominate a Chairman for three years, followed by ISA and AAAI for one year each.

When Goenka completed his first-term as Chairman as an IBDF nominee, it was ISA’s turn to nominate the Chairman. However, ISA decided to skip and Viacom18’s then MD and CEO Sudhanshu Vats was named Chairman for a year from December 2016 to December 2017.

Next came AAAI’s turn which nominated Nakul Chopra, the current CEO of BARC India, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for a year.

Goenka returned at the helm as the IBDF nominee for another three years from January 29, 2019.

Tags: BARC India
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