The FINANCIAL -- “Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) didn’t use AGB Nielsen’s services in 2007 and there’s a serious suspicion about the confidence in GBP’s ratings being spread by AGB,” an extract from Georgian Public Broadcaster’s (GBP) letter to the local advertising market.
As Nana Aburjanidze, Managing Director TV MR GE, Licensee of AGB Nielsen Media Research, noted, they received a letter from GBP threatening AGB Nielsen to stop spreading GBP’s ratings, otherwise they’d be sued.
“GBP warned us that if we don’t stop spreading their ratings they might sue us. However we are disregarding this threat and see no legal arguments behind GPB’s cautions. Suspicion of the ratings data produced by us has to at least be proved by international auditors before discrediting the brand of AGB Nielsen among market players,” said Aburjanidze.
Company TV MR Georgia is a licensed representative of internationally recognized TV Audience Measurement Company AGB Nielsen Media Research (www.agbnielsen.net). AGB Nielsen Media Research uses 100% of its resources for the top quality of TV audience research in over 35 countries owning the largest number of people meter panel HHs in the world.
AGB Nielsen Media Research entered Georgia in 2004. On January 1, 2005 it offered the first ratings data with the ultimate software “Arianna” covering 7 cities with populations of more than 45 000. At present the company provides daily impartial results of TV audience research to the Georgian TV and Ad market.
As assumed by experts, the fact that Imedi TV was the leader surpassing Rustavi 2’s and GBP’s ratings, is the only explanation why GBP is intending to sue AGB Nielsen, the global company known for providing fair ratings all over the world.
According to Aburjanidze, to compete with the fair research results provided by TV MR GE, Georgian National Communications Commission under the management of Mr. Dimitri Kitoshvili (chairmen of the Commission at that time and Presidential Speaker later on) announced a tender on “Purchase and usage of People meters with appropriate software,” which was immediately won by pro-governmental BCG Research, where Mr. Kitoshvili’s spouse is employed and the company is owned and run by Mrs. Ani Tarkhnishvili, spouse of Mr. Levan Tarkhnishvili, Chairman of Elections’ Committee at present and former Chairman of GPB’s Supervisory Board at the time when the tender was won. The cost of the contract paid by the Commission in favour of BCG Research amounted to GEL 2 000 000 (two million).
GPB is financed from the state budget and it was really an extra expenditure to spend GEL 2 million from other state sources to make BCG research get involved in measuring TV ratings when there’s an internationally acknowledged AGB Nielsen brand already represented in the country.
“We use the GFK system, that’s the 4th media research means globally, manufactured by Swiss Telecontrol. The installation process was started in October and includes 500 people meters covering 400 families in Georgia’s 8 cities: Tbilisi, Gori, Rustavi, Telavi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Poti, and Batumi,” Giorgi Bakradze, Business Consulting Group (BCG).
BCG Research is a full service Marketing Research Agency operating both in the public and private sector. It was founded in 2003 by qualified managers and researchers that had had vast team-work experience. 300 active interviewers and a reserve group of 100 interviewers support the organization all over the country.
According to Bakradze the installation process will be finished by the end of January. TC Reporter 8, the latest soft by Telecontrol that’s operated in 12 countries worldwide, has been modified in accordance with the related environment in Georgia.
“I can confirm no information about Mr. Kitoshvili’s shares at BCG. As for the tender, it was held quite fairly and spreading gossip without any concrete facts is playing hardball,” said Bakradze.
“McCann-Erickson Georgia remains neutral in any situation as we’re the company that plays the role of mediator between the clients and the rating companies. There should be a competitive market to see an actual need of using TV ratings but today the environment is not the best,” claimed Gia Alikhanashvili, McCann-Erickson Georgia’s General Director.
Neither GPB Director nor Mr. Kitoshvili were available for comment.
GPB Deputy Director, Levan Giorgadze left the issue without comment.