Saturday 24 February 2018

Is it time up for TAM ratings?

Core Media's chief digital and data officer, Justin Cullen
Core Media's chief digital and data officer, Justin Cullen

Michael Cullen

TV research could soon face a major shake-up as advertisers look for a more efficient and less costly way of measuring audiences, a leading media agency executive has warned.

As Television Audience Measurement (TAM) plays up Ireland's latest viewing habits showing a 77pc vote for live TV, broadcasters are being urged to take their heads out of the sand and consider other ways of getting the low-down on measurement trends.

Speaking at a TAM agency briefing on the latest viewing trends study by Ipsos MRBI in the Convention Centre, Core Media's chief digital and data officer, Justin Cullen, pictured, said shortcomings in cross-referencing TV research are causing tension in the industry.

There needs to be more open-mindedness with the old rules of TV broadcasting giving way to the new reality.

Cullen says stubbornness has seen Google repeatedly "walk away from the table". While he insist he's "not anti-TV, or not pro-digital -like some Nazi", there are new rules to the TV game and the shift in the marketplace isn't going to go away - quite the reverse.

Cullen passionately called on advertisers to "go to Palo Alto (part of California's Silicon Valley), stop using expensive TAM... and look at price".

While 77pc of viewers watch TV live, recorded shows and catch up/on demand from players account for 12pc. Netflix, YouTube DVD and other subscriber services make up the other 11pc. TAM claims 98pc of Irish adults view some form of screen content, while 92pc watch on a TV set and 23pc on another device, as well as a TV set.

Most adults spend 217 minutes watching TV every day. Since the last survey, there's been a modest increase in watching shows on a mobile phone - up one point to 5pc, and mobile is growing.

Not surprisingly, under 35s are the most likely age group to consume content on devices other than a TV.

But watching TV at home remains the most popular choice, with a 93pc rating.

Explaining how the TAM study comes together, Damian Loscher of Ipsos MRBI said the study involves a representative sample of 1,000 content viewers. Doors are knocked on, people are asked about their viewing habits in 15-minute blocks, what sort of device they use, location of viewing and the format (live TV, recorded etc).

The researcher's job is to inform broadcasters like RTE, TV3, UTV Ireland and Sky about what people watch and put some perspective on the findings to help them influence advertisers.


* The body first tasked 57 years ago to foster and reward the best creative Irish advertising and design can deliver will hold its annual awards, exhibitions, workshops and seminars soon. Those charged with currently steering the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design - better known as ICAD - aim to highlight the importance of creativity to Irish business. ICAD managing director Elaine McDevitt, below, says this year the awards' design category received 120 entries, compared to an average 75 in other years.

The category covers work in branding, packaging, reports, illustration, catalogues and books. In all, around 560 advertising, craft and design pieces were entered across print, digital, TV/cinema and radio.

Two gold, 14 silver and 64 bronze ICAD bells will be handed over at the awards show in Vicar Street on Thursday, May 28. Next week, an online gallery of commended work will go public.

Category juries score work based on three criteria. Each idea must be original and inspiring, well executed and relevant to its context. A bronze is awarded for excellence, silver for outstanding and gold for exceptional work. Early bird tickets for the awards night are €60 for members and €90 for non-members. Prices rise to €80 and €110 from next Wednesday.


* One of Ireland's top sports PR executives is on the move. Máire Scully is leaving Wilson Hartnell to pursue other interests. Scully first joined WHPR in 2001 and five years later headed up the agency's sport marketing and sponsorship division. She began her career in Aer Lingus, became Basketball Ireland's first press officer and worked as a freelance journalist. Her clients at WHPR included AIB, An Post and Liberty Insurance.


* Initiative has been appointed to handle Valeo Foods media buying, working to chief commercial officer, Dave Robinson. Valeo brands include Batchelors beans - made famous by the iconic Barney & Beany cartoon characters created by Brian Cronin in 1970 - Erin soups, Jacob's biscuits, Roma pasta and Odlums flour. Valeo's creative agency is Havas.


* Amongst Friends is the title of the new Friends First ad campaign with actor Simon Delaney, pictured top. Created by OwensDDB, the idea is to highlight the values of friendship and trust. Shot in various locations in Dublin, the theme ties in with the life assurer's strategy in marketing its pensions, investments and income protection products. The TV ad features a remake of Swedish band Wannadies' song 'You and Me'.

Michael Cullen is editor of

Indo Business

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