Even as the guns at HT and TOI refuse to fall silent, The Hindu has put out a tongue-in-cheek response to the war, asking its readers to ‘Keep Calm’ and read ‘The Hindu.’
The dominant daily in the South has taken pot shots at the claims made by both the English dailies, their ‘two-minute’ claims and counter-claims, adding, “don’t be confused… read The Hindu.”
In the backdrop of the festive season and the relentless noise created by both the newspapers, the ad has raised quite a few eyebrows and an important question – Will The Hindu join the war or is it just a one-off communication?
Suresh Srinivasan, Senior Vice President, The Hindu said, “We are participating in such activities from the last few years there was no objective to prove anything. We thought it’s an interesting battle going on over numbers so we just asked readers to keep calm and read the most credible newspaper.”
When asked if The Hindu would get any leverage out of it, he replied, “There is no such intention. The idea was just to add fun to this fight.”
P M Balakrishna, COO, Allied Media, is of the opinion that this is an attempt to milk the issue but sees no clear objective behind the ad. “Just sabre rattling to gain eyeballs,” he says.
While taking a dig at the HT and TOI, The Hindu has positioned itself as the most ‘sensible’ newspaper that is No 1 in the South. Editorially, The Hindu has often taken on TOI and HT, responding to some of their stories with scathing editorials and investigative pieces.
It would be interesting to see if the newspaper, that has seen some significant changes in its editorial structure, continues to “have fun” this way or rolls up its sleeves gets into the action.