The IRS 2009 R1 data is out and claims and counterclaims on the readership figures have already begun. The Average Issue Readership (AIR) and Total Readership (TR) tussle has returned. There are segmentations on city-wise findings. Even as readers are confused over the figures, brands seem to be leveraging the results in ways that best suit them.
To understand the claims and counterclaims story and the reasons behind it, exchange4media spoke to a few publication heads and media planners.
Divya Gupta, Business Head, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, noted, “Each media marketer will highlight their brand strength. This holds true for not just the print medium, but also TV, radio, the Internet, or for that matter any other category. Marketers and media agencies will use the yardstick that is relevant to the brand and the pertinent communication strategy.”
On whether, one would see marketing around the IRS results, Gupta said, “As and when it is required.”
According to Rahul Kansal, Chief Marketing Officer, The Times of India, “It all depends on which part of the results help the case of a particular publication. HT took AIR in Delhi and we took TR. The sole job of the brands is to present their case in the most compelling way; we go by a matrix that suits our brand.”
On being asked that given that TR was not an accepted currency, why Mid-Day was using it in their promotions, Neville Bastawalla, Head - Marketing, Mid-Day, said, “MRUC last year and also this year has suggested to all media agencies to use TR as the currency over AIR. This can be checked up with Sabina Solomon at MRUC. Therefore, TR is the currency to use.”
On the promotion plans, Bastawalla said, “All newspaper companies will surely have campaigns planned post the IRS results. We have done our bit.”
Anita Nayar, CEO, MPG Asia Pacific, said, “We clearly look at the TR and more so at the readership that is relevant to our target group. It is only logical you ‘tom tom’ something you are good at and reflect more on your positive points. All the publications are doing exactly that, and it surely does get misleading. As a media planner, I have to look at figures and see what suits me at the end, that’s what my job is – to figure out who really is No. 1 or No. 2. If I were to look at a second option after TOI, which is the leader in Mumbai, I would go to HT or a DNA. TOI is clearly the leader there.”
Similarly, Mona Jian, Head of Strategic Investments at India Media Exchange, said, “We look at the readership of the people who we have to address to, our TG. It may be a perception case as to how much TR a particular publication has; we clearly look at the numbers that matter to us.”
No one from DNA responded despite repeated efforts to get comments from them.