What is the significance of the ISA Media Charter?
Sunil Kataria (SK): The ISA Charter aims to bring about transparency, fairness, and accountability within the media ecosystem in India. The charter holds significant importance in the current operating context given the rapid growth and growing share of digital media in the Indian adex.
The future of the digital media industry hinges on making significant and lasting changes to our business practices, and this Charter serves as a crucial step toward that goal. While it may not solve all the challenges, it acts as a starting point for addressing key concerns.
The Charter firmly lays out the necessary steps the industry must take to rebuild trust. It acknowledges that this journey is ongoing and dynamic, and the outlined actions must be earnestly and promptly addressed collectively by all stakeholders in the ecosystem. By embracing the Charter and implementing its recommendations, the industry can move towards a more sustainable and trustworthy future for digital media advertising in India.
Why was the need felt for a Model Media Agreement? What are the concerns with current media agency agreements and practices?
SK: The need for a Model Media Agreement arises from the complex and ever-changing media and marketing ecosystem. As contracts age, adaptation becomes necessary to stay current.
Transparency now extends beyond finances, with brands seeking assurance of safe environments and consumer privacy. The Model Media Agreement incorporates elements essential to modern media practices. Advancements in technology and the consequent shifts in media make an updated contract vital to address current challenges the industry faces.
It is important to note that the ISA Model Media Agency Agreement is not an obligation for our esteemed ISA members. Instead, it empowers each member to independently assess what media planning and buying terms and conditions work best for their unique needs and requirements. We recognise that every negotiation is unique, and thus, our members are free to tailor their agreements according to what they deem appropriate.
The suggested terms in the ISA Model Media Agency Agreement are intended as a starting point and potential guide only and are not intended to represent the only methodology by which the contractual relationship between an advertiser and its media agency can be addressed.
The Model Media Agency Agreement does, however, highlight the myriad issues that should be openly discussed and resolved in order to ensure transparency and consequent stability in any relationship. The advertising industry is unique, and in particular, the media planning and buying landscape, and anyone using the Model Media Agency Agreement in any form is advised to consult with experienced legal counsel before adopting any or all provisions in the template as even minor additions or amendments can have a material impact on the meaning and effectiveness of the provisions. The ISA makes no representations or warranties as to the content of the Model Media Agency Agreement
Fake followers, impressions and views online are a growing concern. How does the Media Charter plan to address this?
SK: The ISA Media Charter acknowledges the escalating issue of fake impressions and views in the digital advertising realm. To combat this challenge, the Charter firmly adopts a ‘Zero Tolerance to Ad-Fraud’ approach as one of its key components. The primary objective is to foster a vigilant environment within the industry, unequivocally condemning ad fraud and implementing stringent measures to eradicate fraudulent practices.
By incorporating the ‘Zero Tolerance to Ad-Fraud’ principle, the Media Charter aims to instil trust and transparency in digital advertising practices, ensuring that advertisers' investments yield genuine and valuable results. This commitment to combating ad fraud reflects the Charter's dedication to promoting fair and ethical practices throughout the digital media ecosystem.
The Charter speaks of cross-screen measurement. Print is still substantial in India. What is the ISA view on lack of updated print media data for several publications?
SK: The print data is important in India’s media landscape. With the changing media landscape and the proliferation of media options it’s important to have updated robust research and insights across all media platforms.
What timeframe do you see as viable for an industry transition to first party data. Will advertisers take the lead?
SK: The transition to first-party data is a gradual process and can vary across industries and companies. It involves gathering and utilising data directly from consumers or users, providing more accurate insights and targeting opportunities. The timeframe for this transition will depend on factors such as technological readiness, data privacy regulations, and the willingness of advertisers and businesses to adopt first-party data practices. Advertisers, being the primary beneficiaries of data-driven advertising, are likely to take the lead in embracing and promoting first-party data usage for targeted and personalised marketing strategies. However, the overall pace of industry transition will depend on various market dynamics and the maturity of data infrastructure in the advertising ecosystem.