Satellite Dishes in Cairo File Photo
CAIRO – 1 June 2017: A number of satellite channels and companies have filed a complaint against IPSOS, the French market research and public opinion research company, in the Authority of Protection of Competition and Monopolistic Practices Prevention.
Grievant companies accused IPSOS of misleading public opinion by manipulating viewership rates and demanded that the authority transfer the complaint to public prosecution.
The complaint document stated that the company did not implement the correct criteria in its polls, groundlessly favoring certain channels over others. The complaining companies ended their contracts with the company in 2014.
However, IPSOS continued issuing reports that included false data on those companies.
Yasser Fathy, attorney, stated to Egypt Today that IPSOS is the most dominant organization for viewership ratings in Egypt, as it is the main source of information for advertisers. He added that the goal of that manipulation is increasing ads for specific channels.
Fathy declared that the ratings issued in Ramadan this year are the same as those issued last year. He stipulated that viewership reports lack research criteria and samples.
“IPSOS works beyond any legal framework, and has destructive impact upon satellite channels,” Fathy said.
Fathy clarified that the authority would refer the complaint to the public prosecution after validating it. As a consequence, grievant companies would have to file a request with the Public Authority for Investment to terminate IPSOS licenses. They would also have the right to file a compensation lawsuit as that would be a proof that IPSOS reports are defamatory.
In July 2016, a number of satellite channels, including Al Nahar, Al Hayat, CBC, ONTV, and Dream, reported IPSOS for false viewership reports. The news website Enferad reported last year that complaining channels declared that reports included unrealistic changes in channel rankings.
IPSOS had ranked Mekameleen, a channel launched from Turkey by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, as the highest in viewership ratings in Egypt, although it is not even broadcast on NileSat. The plaintiffs accused IPSOS of trying to monopolize the advertising market which threatens national security.