Files a motion to dismiss the suit in New York Supreme Court

After a week of waging a war of words, global marketing giant WPP and its associate companies have filed a motion to dismiss NDTV’s billion-dollar lawsuit against them in the New York Supreme Court.

According to WPP, the complaint was not properly served against its companies, which are anyway not connected to the suit. Given that the case is about alleged manipulation of TV ratings in India by an Indian company, affecting an Indian channel, WPP said it should be heard in an Indian court. “This case is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the plaintiff, a television station in New Delhi, India, to drum up media coverage in India to divert attention from the real reasons its programmes have had low audience ratings and its financial performance has been abysmal for five years,” says the memorandum of law filed in support of the motion to dismiss the case. “New Delhi TV has crossed the globe and come to New York State Supreme Court to complain about an Indian company, TAM, and how it measures the ratings of television programmes in India.”

TAM India is a joint venture between two market research firms, Nielsen and Kantar, while WPP is the global parent of Kantar. On July 25, NDTV filed a suit accusing TAM India of manipulating ratings in return for bribes to its officials, and the global parents of TAM of not taking sufficient corrective action despite repeated promises.

Apart from the issue of geographical jurisdiction, WPP also highlighted the “careless” and “sloppy” way the complaint was served on some of its companies.

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