DAVP on revamp mode, says Ambika Soni

The government is in the process of revamping the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) in an effort to horn its skills and professional abilities to match the private sectors' capabilities, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said today.

Inaugurating the `Adasia 2011' conference in New Delhi today, Soni also said the measurement of parameters was critical to the growth of advertising sector. However, media measurement systems in readership as well as TV ratings need to be robust and reflective of the country's demographic realities and its socio-cultural and economic diversities, she said.

In view of the given situation, the measurement process needs to be constantly assessed and upgraded, she added.

Elaborating on the growth of the advertising business in India, she said unlike in many other countries, the advertising market in the country had grown from under Rs10,000 crore to almost Rs30,000 crore over the last 10 years.

The minister also referred to advertising as an integral part of the freedom of expression. In the current scenario, she said, it was impossible in a democracy to separate the freedom of publishing or broadcasting news, opinions or entertainment, from the freedom of advertising. Nonetheless, as a tool it needs to be used with sensitivity and responsibility as the interest of the consumer was paramount, she added.

Highlighting the business opportunities available in the media and entertainment industry, the minister said the policy initiatives undertaken by the government recently offered a perfect platform for growth. The growth in the print media reflected the growing literacy levels in the country with more than 107 million copies of newspapers circulated daily. Similarly, in India, over a 100 million users accessed the internet, a number which was growing exponentially.