Times They’re a Changing …

8 02 2009

A look at today’s Economic Times (Saturday, 7th February), Hyderabad edition, clearly brings out how much press advertising has got affected by the slow-down. Firstly, the newspaper is a lot thinner, 14 pages instead of 24 pages just a few months ago.

 

On closer look, I find there are tender notices from various Government departments and PSUs in pages two and three, which would make up for about three-quarters of a page. In the last page there is half-page of advertising. This includes a big advertisement from Economic Times itself pushing “The Power of ideas” campaign. The other advertisements are small inserts from SIDBI ( 30 column-cms approx) and British Council (10 column- cms). The stock pages have the usual small inserts from brokers, who may be having a long-term contract with Economic Times.

 

Just one page of paid advertising in India ’s leading financial daily, is a telling comment on the state of the advertisers. Even if one discounts for the fact that on Saturdays, the circulation for ET may be lower, a share of just 7% advertising in a newspaper is shocking.

 

A look at Friday’s ET shows three-and-a-half pages of advertising out of a total of 16 pages. About 20% of advertising in a newspaper, which in the boom times gained so much notoriety for filling up with advertisements making a friend remark “In ET, I have to search for news between advertisements.”

 

If an aggressive media house like the Times is struggling to sell space, wonder how others are coping with the slowdown.

 

– G. Mohan

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