A hike in advertisement rates announcement by leading Gujarati print media players Gujarat Samachar and Divya Bhaskar in the last two days has surprised the advertising fraternity in the state.
The Lok Prakashan-owned Gujarat Samachar and Divya Bhaskar have announced a hike in advertising tariff in the range of 5-75 per cent, depending on the package, with effect from January 16 and 17.
However, the agency commission has been kept unchanged. Advertisers were expecting a reduction in advertising tariff due to the entry of a third player — the Bhaskar group from Madhya Pradesh.
Traditionally, Gujarat Samachar revises its advertising tariff in the end of March every year.
Meanwhile, Sandesh, a daily from Sandesh and other major Gujarati daily, has not announced any changes in its tariff. Sources in the newspaper did not ruled out any chances for a hike in advertising tariff in the near future.
“The decision to hike advertising tariff has been taken after a bout of discussions. The revision was necessary to cover the increasing cost of printing and other operational costs,” said Ashok Sharma, chief manager, Divya Bhaskar.
“We have gained a significant market share in the state. In fact, our entry has expanded the advertising industry where the segment has increased both in terms of volume and value,” said Sharma.
No senior officials from Gujarat Samachar were available for comment.
On condition of anonymity, an official told Business Standard: “The hike in tariff was necessary as Divya Bhaskar had entered the Vadodara market with higher tariffs. At the same time, the advertisers also have high opinion about the response from Gujarat Samachar and we are capitalising on that.”
Divya Bhaskar had entered the Ahmedabad and Surat market by keeping their advertising tariffs lower than Gujarat Samachar and Sandesh.
“The hike in tariff by both the papers has come as a surprise to us. However, small advertisers will not be affected much as tariff for single edition has not been hiked much. Bigger advertisers normally opting for more than one editions and colour display will have to alter their plans in view of the drastic hike in colour display insertions in more than one edition,” said Harsh Purohit, director, Cognito, a Vadodara-based agency.
“The market will absorb the hike in tariff in print media, especially when the market for all products and services is expanding along with competition. The advertising market has expanded after the entry of a third newspaper in the state and there is still scope for the same,” said Arvind Purohit, proprietor of Adert Advertising and Marketing, a leading advertising agency in Vadodara.