As the war between HT and TOI over readership numbers heats up, in its latest e-mailer, HT is claiming that it outnumbers TOI by six lakh readers. HT is asking advertisers that, ‘TOI's Poor Performance: Have you asked for 40 percent off?’
TOI takes a dig at HT by saying ‘A 2 minute newspaper is like a 2 minute lover, very unsatisfactory. The text says “Something’s are better done slow and easy like making love and reading newspaper. If you don’t want your newspaper reading to be disappointing as your lover, pick one up that promises in depth news, views and analysis not a 2 minute wannabe of the real thing. To get the full picture, pick up a full newspaper.”
Rahul Kansal, President, BCCL, Brand Function said, HT started it, He said, “We believe HT did, by doing aggressive advertising claiming leadership based on IRS 2014 results. We found this advertising unfair as the so-called leadership was based on HT 2 Mins, which is nothing but an attempt to confuse the market. So we had no option but to point to this malpractice, which most advertisers were till then unaware of.”
When asked when it’s going to end, he replied, “We'd like it to end as soon as it can. That is, if HT withdraws HT 2 Mins; or when we feel enough advertisers have become aware of the malpractice.”
Responding to the print war, Mohit Joshi of Havas Media tweeted, “#TOI & #HT fighting like cats & dogs over #ITS nos. #GrowUpGuys. Use #research as directions and not #WordOfGod.”
We asked HT and TOI how and when this print war is going to end.
HT Media CEO, Rajiv Verma said, “You have to ask the other side, we never started this. I don’t believe in this, this is so wasteful. We should be thinking of consumer, customers, about audience rather than wasting our time.”
About brand image being tarnished and negative conversations happening due to the dispute, he replied, “ I’ll be honest, I don’t visit these areas where all these conversations are happening. I don’t lose any time over these things because I have other better things to do, I’ll rather give time to see what’s happening in the life of consumer and what’s happening in the life of advertisers and make their business better. We don’t want to be competition focused.”