Political advertisements and print players go hand in hand during the election season. With print media having a greater reach in the country than TV and radio, political parties have been betting more on this media platform.
Given the intense interest in the Lok Sabha elections 2014, print players – be it regional or national, local or hyper local – are going all out to cover the elections through a series of special pages, columns and supplements.
exchange4media spoke to some leading news publishers to gauge the advertising sentiments as well as the kind of revenue increase that they are eyeing during this period.
Talking to exchange4media, Arunabh Das Sharma, President, BCCL remarked, “I don't think the elections will do anything to the overall sentiments; only once a stable government comes in power will the sentiments improve.”
When asked about the revenue expectations, Das Sharma replied, “As regards English print media, I am not expecting any significant uplift due to the elections. There will definitely be some activities, but not that significant.”
Along similar lines, DD Purkayastha, Managing Director and CEO, ABP said, “The advertising sentiment is completely dependent on a stable Central Government. If it happens, there will be substantial growth in advertising.”
In terms of revenue, Purkayastha, said, “Advertisement spends are generally less during elections. But Political party ads would compensate for the loss.” ABP offers English and Bengali newspapers and has got a stronghold in the Eastern part of the country.
Media owners are aware that budget allocated for media spends will be divided among TV, radio, print, OOH and digital, and have seen campaigns flow to them. Overall, the industry is looking to benefit from the advertising spends of the major political formations.
Arun Natesh, Marketing Head, Business Standard noted, “Government spending monies come down with the announcement of the elections. There will be an overall increase in revenues after compensating for the loss from government spends. But not all of print gets to benefit from this hike.”
Sharing the business publications point of view, he said, “Business publications don't attract political advertising revenues and we don’t see any benefit. What would help is a turnaround in sentiment based on a robust growth in the economy.”
Meanwhile, the big political parties are not focusing only on national newspapers as they are aware of the fact that India lies in smaller cities, and one needs to talk to them in their own language. Hence, the focus on the regional dailies as well.
According to Mandir Tendolkar, Vice President, Marketing, Lokmat, “Elections give media something to track and talk about. I have observed that newspaper readership does increase. Minute details, analysis and expert opinions can only be published in detail in the newspapers, thus brands will ride and leverage this spike by being present on print media.”