The Statesman, the oldest English newspaper in Kolkata, has appointed Rediffusion DYR as its new agency. Said Sukrit Ray, General Manager-Advertisement of The Statesman, “The mandate to the new agency is to shake off the myth that the Statesman is old and stodgy and to really leverage the tremendous equity and goodwill the publication still enjoys here.”
Apparently this account, hitherto with Grey, has shifted without a pitch. According to Ray, “Among the options available in Kolkata we found Rediffusion to be the best equipped agency to handle the rather delicate task of contemporising the brand without destabilising our highly-sensitive core readers.”
“We are delighted to get a media account, especially a brand with such enviable antecedents as The Statesman,” observed Amitava Sinha, Senior Vice-President of Rediffusion. “Our focus will be on highlighting the many unique attributes of the publication and leveraging its intrinsic strengths, rather than trying to merely match up to ongoing competitive initiatives,” added Sinha.
However, the English daily market in Kolkata is getting much more competitive. While at one level there is hectic on the ground activities by The Telegraph and The Times Of India, at another level Hindustan Times and The Indian Express have also made an entry into the market.
Much as it has its loyalists, given the current staid image of The Statesman, Rediffusion will have their task cut-out in terms of refurbishing its image. “It is going to be a very challenging assignment in the present competitive environment. All I can say now is that our creative people are raring to have a go,” said Amitava Sinha of Rediffusion.
Apart from the flagship daily, The Statesman, the group also has a fledgling afternoon edition and ‘Dainik Statesman,’ a Bengali daily that was launched last year. “Two of our new supplements, Voices on Thursdays and the Sunday supplement, 8th Day have also been very well received,” added an upbeat Ray.