The recently announced tariff card of the Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL) has created quite a stir in the market. Just ahead of the festive season, the BCCL has ‘reconfigured’ its ad rates. Even as no official comments were forthcoming from the organisation, it is understood that as per the new card, there would be an overall drop in rates.
Market sources informed that key BCCL publications, including The Times of India, The Economic Times, Mumbai Mirror, Navbharat Times, Maharashtra Times and Sandhya Times, would see a drop in rates to the tune of 13 per cent on an average. This is in comparison to the rates that the BCCL had announced in August 2008.
It may be recalled that the BCCL had increased its rates last August. Since then, much has changed in the economic environment around, including the significant drop in newsprint prices this year.
A source close to the development said, “The new rate card has been devised after evaluating various sectors, and it is a strategic approach that the BCCL officials have taken to newspaper space selling. The rates are in context of the new reality of advertisers, and in a sense, it is not even fair to directly compare it with the rates of the publications so far.”
The BCCL publications, like most other media vehicles, have battled with a drop in advertising in the past year. At the same time, markets like Mumbai now have alternate options such as The Hindustan Times and DNA becoming stronger. Market sources say that this move is a result of these market changes as well, and it is BCCL’s attempt to ensure the “sanctity of the rate cards”, which of late was seeing negotiations.