It is a windfall for radio players amid worries over the economic slowdown. Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, who was recently given the additional charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), has sanctioned a proposal allowing radio players to air political ads.
Senior sources close to the development have confirmed the news to exchange4media. They have also said that it would take a month for the political ads to begin airing on radio. This move is expected to boost radio revenues by at least 15 per cent to 20 per cent in the three months of campaigning.
The sources informed that a formal notification on this was expected shortly. The advertising size of the Indian radio industry at present is gauged between Rs 750 crore and Rs 800 crore. Industry sources said that the radio industry would see an influx of anywhere between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore in the radio medium with this move.
As per the Code for Commercial Advertising on All India Radio dated April 13, 2004, advertisement of political nature was prohibited on All India Radio, which was also applicable to FM radio. As is known, a few radio stations had carried political ads in the recent past, which was objected to by the Election Commission. Following this, the radio industry had lobbied for allowing political ads.