After TOI’s notice titled ‘What's new? Certainly Not IRS 2014’ in its newspaper dated 3rd April 2015, Times of India made its stand clear on latest IRS survey. While things may seem quiet on the surface, the two print majors Times Of India and HT, are far from passive specially when it comes to taking digs at each other. TOI’s latest mailer reads ‘Issued in Advertisers’ Interest’ - Your ads go missing again in HT, and furnishes the readers with list of advertisers who have not been advertising in Hindustan Times.
While Hindustan Times is sending mailers like ‘The only medium for the largest market of India’ elucidating Delhi as one of the largest markets for automobiles, consumer durables and handsets.
Last September, post the IRS fiasco, Times of India issued an advertisement that read ‘The Truth shall prevail. Specially at 6am.’ The ad further read ‘You may have read some claims and counter claims about readership and circulation of English dailies in Delhi and NCR. But the truth simply is: for the ‘regular’ copies of the TOI and HT (i.e. fully loaded copies that carry supplements and are listed in ABC as single or combo) TOI is 38% ahead of HT.
The ad further invited readers to get a firsthand experience of the newspaper’s leadership by taking up the Times of India challenge, by contacting the TOI and visiting a newspaper depot.
In response to this HT published a story in the main edition of Saturday saying ‘TOI cannot digest readers’ message, shoots messenger’
Further in answer to TOI’s Morning Challenge, HT had launched a campaign called ‘Moaning Challenge, The Curious Case of The Eternal Crybaby’ (with a baby wearing a diaper labelled TOI). The 2-minute animated video described how ‘the baby’ is crying over the IRS 2013 numbers which declare HT is leading in Delhi NCR. “What does the IRS know? IRS is fishy and everyone else is dumb. Only the crybaby knows,” runs the copy along the animation.
And the war between the two print majors continues at the new IRS numbers remain a subject of debate…