The South African Audience Research Foundation (Saarf) says it has “engaged” with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) as well as Nielsen to discuss the results of a recent TAMS audit that showed by its own admission some “serious issues” that need “rectification”. It has now come up with an “action plan” to address some of the matters arising from the audit.
The Saarf board in 2012 embarked on an international audit of the TAMS panel to review the methodology, identify any possible shortcomings in the panel as well as areas of improvement, and guide the planned multimillion rand expansion of the panel. French company CESP conducted the audit.
While the audit showed South Africa methodology corresponded with international best practice, it revealed some issues that needed to be addressed. Saarf lists these as: communication and reporting of panel deficiencies over the years; the ageing technology used in the panel, weighting and panel balance, panel management, and technical oversight and controls.
Now the Saarf board has developed an action plan to address issues raised by the audit. Firstly, the board and the audit task team are to undertake further engagement with NAB and the Marketing Association of SA It will improve controls within Saarf as well as the TAMS contract, and is to review Saarf’s functional structures such as the TAMS Council and the skills base inside SAARF.
This will include “better defined accountability and roles to ensure stronger technical oversight”, Saarf said. It also plans to introduce new meter technology that will produce higher daily reporting levels. The plan is to immediately swap old technology and install f more LSM 1-4 households to give a more balanced view of television viewers.
Saarf is planning “significant expansion of the panel to nearly 3 000 households” and will temporarily suspend HD-PVR boosted households by DStv.
All of this will be done in consultation with stakeholders, Saarf says. Decisions will be made in terms of their application and appropriateness to the SA market, it says.
“Currently further inputs from Nielsen are awaited and once all stakeholders are happy with the proposed Action Plan, the SAARF Board will ensure that shortcomings are addressed as speedily as possible and that all corrective steps necessary to restore the integrity of the TAMS currency are taken,” the body said in a statement.
A copy of the full report is available to interested stakeholders. “The SAARF board will keep all constituencies informed of progress with this important task and further news releases will follow from time to time to ensure that everyone stays informed,” it said.
Saarf also recently undertook what it calls “futureproofing” research, the results of which will be released in July.