The year began with experts forecasting an impending double digit slowdown. While we are yet to grasp the full import of this prediction, the publishing business has not fared too well considering an overall sluggishness in advertising spends. December last year spelt the death knell for Mid-Day’s Bangalore and Delhi editions and Outlook Profit called it a day. However, despite this, print media players are looking to strengthen their communication plans this year, reflected by some unusual media accounts on the move. Earlier this month, Kerala print major Mathrubhumi moved from a local player to hire Maxus as their AoR. Following suit is The Hindu which has, for the first time, appointed a media and a digital partner. exchange4media has confirmed the news with industry sources as well as officials from The Hindu that the publication has brought on board GroupM’s Mindshare to handle the media mandate (traditional and outdoor) and OMD for the digital duties. The business will be handled out of the agencies’ Chennai offices. The account size could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report. Suresh Srinivasan, Vice President-Advertising, The Hindu, confirmed, “We are in the process of launching a corporate brand building campaign. So, we felt that we would benefit by appointing a media and digital partner at this stage.”
It may be recalled that early July last year, the newspaper added Ogilvy India to its creative roster, along with existing creative partner Lowe Lintas. Apart from The Hindu, the agency also handles creative duties for Sportstar, Business Line, Frontline, and other sub brands, the objective being an exercise in brand building and to position the Chennai-based publication favourably among the decision-makers in the marketing and media planning & buying circles.
Apart from this, recent developments at The Hindu have been the formal step-down of Editor-in-Chief N Ram on January 19, 2012, with the key post handed over to the Editor of The Hindu Siddharth Varadarajan. Arun Anant will be assuming charge as CEO of Kasturi and Sons Ltd from February 6, 2012.