In a recent press statement made by V. Shankaran, Secretary General, INS, the Society advised its members to be careful about publishing any advertisements from the Government of West Bengal.
The statement said that The Indian Newspaper Society has advised its members to exercise extreme caution in accepting advertisements from the Government of West Bengal. The Society’s Executive Committee at its meeting in Kolkata expressed deep concern and anguish at the non-payment of advertisement bills of selected member publications for several years. This has caused severe financial distress to these newspapers as the media industry passes through a very difficult period.
The Society urged the Chief Minister to clear dues of its members without further delay.
ABP group is one of the largest media houses in West Bengal and ABP’s CEO and MD, D D Purkayastha said, “It is true and we won’t carry advertisements from the government.”
When asked about the impact on the industry given the fact government ad spends are always high, he said, “The amount that is due to each player is very substantial.”
The committee has given West Bengal government one month’s time to respond to their notice.
The Society also expressed dismay at the reported stand of the Government to not clear dues of its predecessor dispensation and said this was a negation of constitutional principles.
The Statesman is one of the oldest newspapers in the city which carries government advertisement on a regular basis. One of the senior managers of the organisation on the condition of anonymity said, “I can’t share the figures but the amount due is very high, we have stopped advertising from government if it comes directly but there are no issues if the ads are coming via agencies.”
He also informed exchange4media that the newspaper is especially not carrying ads from the Information and Cultural department of the government.