The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) is saddened by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s call to put an end to all advertisements by the various state Governments and Public Sector Enterprises for a period of two years. “Like other sectors which have been economically impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, the media and broadcasting industry cannot claim immunity. In these testing times, any decision by the Government to curtail budgetary allocation to advertisements carried out by various channels in lieu of government advertising will sound the death knell for the sector and particularly so, for the regional and smaller channels whose overwhelming dependence on Government ads cannot be both overstated and undermined,” the apex industry body of broadcasters said in a statement.
According to IBF, media and entertainment industry is already facing the brunt of the slowdown as ad bookings have nosedived by nearly 50%. Cinemas are closed, production of films and TV shows has stopped and there are delays in payments by advertising agencies and distribution platform operators, it highlighted. “Under such a scenario, we will resist any such move by the government to undercut revenue for government advertising as many of our member channels will lose substantial revenues and will be compelled to shut down resulting in massive job losses,” IBF added.
IBF also reminded the government that, at present, a lot of government ads are related to social messages concerning health, education, among others. TV still remains the primary mode of disseminating these messages to the citizens of India and stopping these ads is not in public interest.
Indian Broadcasting Foundation is a not-for-profit industry association which is dedicated to the promotion of television broadcasting in, to and from India. IBF members provide channels and programmes that deliver about 90% of television viewership in India.The Foundation provides a meeting ground for its members to work in consensus on common goals. IBF has, over the years, achieved the unique position of the accredited spokes-body of the television broadcasting industry. IBF endeavours to work closely with and align industry, policy makers, regulators and partners so that the television sector in the media and entertainment industry grows to its fullest potential in an equitable manner.