Our objectivity critical to media audit'

Anooj (Chartered Accountant) (2130 Points)

07 March 2012  


Audit and advisory company Spatial Access Media Solutions recently launched a new logo and restructured its services under three SBUs (strategic business units). The company works with advertisers to help them achieve continuous improvement in the efficiency of their marketing services investments. It measures media, production and below-the-line investments and provides client-specific solutions that are unbiased to ensure the highest possible impact and efficiency for their marketing investments.

Based in Mumbai, Spatial Access Solutions (SAS) is an independent organisation with no links to any agency or advertising network. In an interview to BrandLine, Meenakshi Menon (Madhvani), Founder & Chairperson, Spatial Access Solutions (SAS), speaks on the changes in the company and the way ahead for media audits in the country. Excerpts:

Why the need for a separate logo and why create SBUs for SAS at this point of time?

Our logo was created eight years ago when media audit was just a concept. The market was ignorant not just about the service but also about the need for the service. I commissioned in-depth interviews with MDs and CMOs of some of the top 25 advertisers. Each of them said there was a need for transparency and accountability but some of them were reluctant to support audits because of the concern that it would upset their agency partners. What we saw was that there was a stated point of view which was more accommodating. This, however, hid the real concerns and issues that clients faced.

Given this background our service was focused on one area media. That was the area where the concerns were the greatest and the spends the highest. Also, agencies had started the process of consolidation to drive volumes and improve their own bottom lines. Over the last eight years, things have changed. We at Spatial Access were responsible for the change and we needed to ensure that we were ready for the next wave of change and evolution! Thus the logo change. It signifies a transition from a concept-selling stage to a market expansion phase where the logo needs to reflect the inherent complexity and power of the organisation.

How has the media auditing business evolved in India since you started operations eight years ago?

Today we work with over 120 clients across six cities. We are in three countries. We have three verticals and audit and advisory services that cover every aspect of marketing investment. We are pleased with the way the market has responded to our service and products.

How much of media has SAS audited across industries? What are the media auditing trends you have observed across industries?

The four business categories that have adopted audit as a way of life are financial services, auto, FMCG and telecom. Some of them are retainer clients, who work with us on an ongoing basis while others have a project-based approach.

Some clients want to focus only on media while others want to look at a combination of media and production audits.

Our film production audit service has been a boon to advertisers who make a large number of films, such as FMCG and telecom players.