Do advertisers care about the HT-TOI battle?

Most marketers claim they would advertise in both dailies, though they are keeping a keen tab on the ongoing battle and the eventual outcome

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Sep 25, 2014 7:56 AM
Do advertisers care about the HT-TOI battle?

Warring dailies, The Times of India and the Hindustan Times, may keep up the ante with provocative communication targeting each other, but is it really making a difference to advertisers, the target audience?

When exchange4media spoke to a section of advertisers on the issue, we got a mixed response.

Rajiv Mishra, Vice President – Media, Samsung India, said,  “These battles do impact advertisers. It is very important for us to know the circulation numbers and the profile of readers as it helps us plan our media investment.”

When asked whether it is impacting their decision where to advertise, he said, “We always keep a tab on these wars and their outcome. For every penny we spend we expect maximum ROI and these figures matter.”

Earlier this year the Pitch Madison report stated that advertising in print is expected to grow by 17 per cent to Rs 15,405 crore. The two national newspapers TOI and HT dominate the print advertising domain.

Manu Seth, Director Marketing, HTC said, “This kind of communication helps media agencies to plan and they (TOI and HT) are doing fairly decent job at their end. Having said that, irrespective of their individual claims, we need to do our own due diligence from a consumer perspective before putting in our monies. Our media mix is tailored to cater to the specific market demands and we partner with whichever vehicle works best in that context.” He added that HTC has distributed its advertising across both publications for the festive season.

Vimal Sumbly, Managing Director, Triumph Motorcycles, India is of the opinion that the market and the target audience decides where the advertiser would like to be visible. “Print is an important medium to advertise and sensible marketers will look at these factors things as far as ROI is concerned.”

However, not everyone is taking these claims into consideration. 

Shubhodip Pal, CMO, Micromax said, “Numbers are important to a certain extent as everyone knows what is HT’s stronghold and what is TOI’s. For Delhi- NCR, Micromax will advertise in both. Yes there is duplication, but since the battle is over only one region, it does not matter. Had HT and TOI warred over other regions as well, it would have made a difference.”

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