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Reject IRS 2013 data, INS tells its members

MUMBAI: First, there were television broadcasters who went up in arms against TAM Media Research last year, threatening to withdraw subscription and cripple the sole TV rating agency’s business model over ‘flawed ratings’.

The same history is now in the repeat mode for the print sector. Top publications including The Times Group, The Hindu, DB Corp and Jagran Prakashan, under the aegis of the Indian Newspapers Society (INS), have joined hands to withdraw subscription from the Media Research Users’ Council (MRUC) over the findings of the new Indian Readership Survey 2013 (IRS 13), which they claim are ‘flawed, untrustworthy and illogical’.

The fight between the publishers (read INS) and the MRUC is out in the streets now—well, in a figurative sense. While the MRUC issued a statement on Tuesday, explaining the methodology and putting its weight behind the robustness, INS is not happy.

Within an hour after being snubbed by the MRUC on the 24-hour ultimatum to withdraw the IRS 2013, INS issued an advisory to all its member publications (a copy of which is with TelevisionPost.com), urging them to reject IRS data and take steps for individual restitution.

In the advisory, signed by INS secretary general V Shankaran, the society said that its executive committee had unanimously rejected the findings of IRS 2013 at its meeting held on Monday and had urged the MRUC to withdraw its report forthwith.

“MRUC having refused to withdraw its report, the Indian Newspapers Society urges its members to reject IRS 2013 and to take such steps for restitution as they may be advised to take,” the advisory stated.

According to the advisory, some INS members have already prepared a draft communication for transmission to MRUC. The same has been circulated to all the members for information and necessary action.

The draft communication, which will be sent to MRUC chairman Ravi Rao, RSCI managing committee chairman Hormusji Cama and Nielsen India MD media Prashant Singh, clearly states that the said publications withdraw from IRS.

The draft reads, “[XYZ Ltd.] and its sister companies hereby withdraw from any association with the Indian Readership Survey (IRS). We call upon the MRUC, RSCI and Nielsen India to immediately cease and desist from using for the purpose of the survey the mastheads of all publications for which proprietary rights are owned by us.”

It also adds that the publication would appreciate a written acknowledgement of the letter, along with an assurance that the use of their mastheads for survey purposes will immediately cease.

Also Read:

IRS 13: Why the MRUC feels it is on the right track
MRUC stands by IRS methodology, RSCI to decide IRS 2013 fate on 19 Feb

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IRS 13: Media agencies agree on ‘glaring errors’ but say too early to trash the report
All new IRS 2013 data holds surprises and shocks
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New IRS 2013 data mired in controversy