A number of advertisers have declared war on BARB, the organisation
responsible for TV audience measurement, in response to fresh attempts
to force them to pay thousands more pounds to access TV viewing
BARB introduced a new ratecard last autumn asking advertisers to pay
around pounds 2,400 a year to use its data via an auditor, consultant or
research company, but the proposed charges met with fierce
Now BARB is attempting to drive home the charges. Last week, it
officially informed users that advertisers must not be supplied with
data unless they or their research suppliers have paid up.
According to Julian Coles, head of group procurement at Boots, BARB’s
approach is ’ill considered and ill thought through’. Although Coles
conceded that the charges on the current ratecard were not exorbitant,
he said it set ’some rather dangerous precedents’.
’BARB has a funding hole which it is desperately scrabbling around to
fill. We’re angry that they’re trying to fill it in this way,’ Coles
said, adding that he would be asking the Incorporated Society of British
Advertisers to take a firm line on the issue.
Stef Clark, the manager of media strategy at the Halifax, said: ’I have
no objection to a registration fee to protect BARB’s copyright but the
amount it is charging and the way it’s being done is wrong.’
Some advertisers believe they should not be asked to pay again for data
which supports and confirms their investment in media.
Pat Barsby, managing director of the auditor, Barsby Rowe, said: ’Any
request to pay should not be determined by the source of the data and,
as an industry, we should reject any involvement, at least until after a
full public debate. Anything else is not in advertisers’ interests,
especially not in the long term.’
John Fox, the chief executive of BARB, said the new charges were simply
’a way of regularising the system, which we are obliged to do. There’s
always been a royalty fee, this is just a different way of charging.’