Boo! Hiss! The media industry has a new pantomime villain in the form of Nigel Farage. He caused a shock by winning best News Presenter of the Year in yesterday’s Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) Awards held at the sumptuous Grosvenor House.
Whilst some members choked on their postprandial liqueurs, Farage took a swipe at BARB labelling its ownership structure and methodology “a farce”!
Most media planners and buyers would have some sympathy given the speed of change in the super-fragmented AV world. Whist sticking it to mainstream media may suit his narrative, he makes a key false assumptions. He stated that BARB is owned by broadcasters. This is a half-truth as it is also equally funded by advertisers and agencies. This matters as c.£5billion of spot revenue is traded on this.
He also swipes at the industry being measured by only 5,300 homes. To an outsider, it is extraordinary to think that 66m are represented by ‘only’ 5,300. Yet compared to other larger population size countries, the BARB panel is not only proportionately bigger, it is single-source. [This matters too, but we would be getting into trainspotter territory here.]
The BARB panel serves GB News very well. Their breakfast show also won Best Breakfast Show yesterday. This shouldn’t be news to TV planners as the evidence clearly shows GB News breakfast beating the commercial PSBs in viewing share in the morning but also regularly nosing ahead of Sky News. There is no need to tilt at windmills when there is a real plucky underdog story for advertisers which is increasingly hard to ignore.