Some of the country's top advertisers, including Dabur, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Marico, Procter & Gamble, L'Óreal, Godrej Consumer and Coca-Cola, would be pulling out their ads from eight large television groups starting today.
The move, the full impact of which would become apparent in two days from the date of cancellation, comes after a month-long stand-off between them over frequency of TV ratings to be given by service provider TAM Media Research to its subscribers.
The eight broadcasting groups include STAR India, Multi Screen Media (MSM), Discovery, NDTV, Network18, Viacom 18, BAG and the ZEE Network.
In a similar move, another 20 to 22 advertisers from auto, telecom and consumer electronics are expected to follow suit this Thursday (18 July) in protest against the monthly ratings move by the broadcasters.
The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), the apex body of advertising and media agencies in the country, which is backing the advertisers to the hilt, said cancellation of TV releases by many advertisers on eight network groups that had insisted on unilateral changes was a natural outcome and more clients would follow.
According to a Dabur India spokesperson the company would be pulling out ads from tomorrow.
The AAAI yesterday said that advertisers had ''no option'' but to pull out ads from eight key broadcast networks, after these broadcasters switched to monthly viewership ratings. The broadcasters had been given a 72-hour deadline that ends today to change their decision.
Arvind Sharma, president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India, said that any change in the TV measurement needed to be ''thought through'' and supported by all the three industry constituents - broadcasters, advertisers and ad agencies.
He said if individual broadcasters tried to force unilateral changes in the current system, as some had tried, it would result in a disorderly and hybrid measurement system. He said it would become impossible for ad agencies and advertisers to plan and, therefore, buy TV spots, and in the scenario it was natural for advertisers to begin to question the value of advertising in the medium at all.
He added that an agreement was needed among all three that the measurement system (TAM) needed to evolve and that was the common goal towards which broadcasters, advertisers and ad agencies came together to create Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).