The Times of India (TOI) and the Hindustan Times (HT) would definitely be arch rivals one month down the line but in the present situation, the two are helping each other out in the Mumbai market, adding to the unprecedented trends that the print war here is seeing. Times would be utilising HT’s printing capacity and in return HT ads would be seen in the TOI. HT is slated to hit the Mumbai market on July 1, 2005 and the relation should be seen at least till then.
However, Times officials weren’t available for comments. The Mumbai edition of TOI carried a half page HT ad on May 31, 2005, taking quite a few by surprise.
Anand Bhardwaj, Head, Marketing, Hindustan Times, said, “We were in discussions with each other on this. We have spare printing capacity and they can help us execute our communication plan to build awareness before our launch.”
A certain amount of insertions has been discussed with the TOI, which the latter has agreed to. Consequently, Times readers should be prepared for more messages from HT.
The new paper from the Times stable, ‘Mumbai Mirror’ is presenting its own demands on the press in addition to the demands of the existing brands. However, it is not clear yet which of the papers will be printed from HT’s facility. Earlier, HT, TOI and the Telegraph had joined hands to combat the poaching issue. Telegraph is also rumoured to enter the Mumbai market at some stage.
In regards to HT, the paper’s communication with the reader had started quite some time back but it has started in the trade circles now. The paper has gone to vendors with subscription offers. Some of the information in the booking forms presented to the trade include that the delivery of HT, Mumbai edition beginning July 1. The delivery will begin subject to the realisation of a subscription cheque for Rs 449. The paper has offered a gift cheque in return of Rs 101, which computes the total cost for an annual HT subscription to the subscriber at Rs 348. The offer is valid to the areas of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane district.