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IRS, NRS to be merged for a single readership survey

IRS, NRS to be merged for a single readership survey

New Delhi: After months of speculation, the boards of Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and the National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) have decided to merge the Indian Readership Survey, or IRS, conducted by the former, and the National Readership Study or NRS, conducted by the latter.

The unification of the two readership surveys was welcomed by representatives of both entities as a move that would result in a better survey which would find more acceptance.

“MRUC is a user body drawing its membership from all the constituents of the advertising/media/marketing fraternity. MRUC’s support will mean that the joint survey has a wide acceptance. As a result, a more robust and relevant survey that will serve all the constituents can be made available," said G. Krishnan, chairman, MRUC, and CEO, TV Today Group.

“I am happy at this development which a lot of well-meaning people have been looking forward to for some time. We can now look forward to one industry-sponsored robust readership survey that will be accepted by one and all," said Sam Balsara, chairman of NRSC’s governing council and chairman and managing director, Madison Group.

The merged entity will be represented by 10 members from each side. However, there is no clarity on when the new research body will be established or the frequency of the readership survey. IRS is conducted twice a year. NRS hasn’t been conducted since 2006.

“This is just the initial stage, only when talks proceed will decisions be taken on the name of the established body, who the members will be or how frequently the survey will be published," said Sabina Solomon, general manager, MRUC.

It is likely that the merged entity will call for tenders from market research firms for the study.

ACNielsen carried out the last edition of NRS while IRS is carried out by Hansa Research Group Pvt. Ltd (this contract expires in September).

An expert too welcomed the merger as a move towards transparency. “This merger means more robust processing of data. It means less conflicting claims from publishers and more transparency for advertisers to make their decisions," said Jehil Thakkar, executive director at KPMG Advisory Services, a consulting firm.

“The proof is, however, going to be in the implementation and how it will be executed," he added.

Mint had reported on a possible merger between IRS and NRS on 21 July.

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