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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, July 03, 2006

‘Ad’ding To The Confusion

In his weekly column, The Hindu's Readers' Editor touches upon various issues related to advertisement ethics in the newspaper:
First some fundamentals: advertisements sustain a newspaper. In the case of The Hindu they contribute approximately 80 per cent of the revenue, the realisation from cover (sale) price being 20 per cent. And second, a newspaper is a commercial venture that has a very large employee-force; besides meeting running costs, the venture must generate a surplus to invest in improving its technology-based infrastructure.

When the first "wrap around" advertisement — a display surrounded by editorial matter — appeared in The Hindu, there was a howl. "Eye-gouging rather than eye-catching," "never expected The Hindu to resort to such gimmicks which other papers did": there were some opinions. This is mixing news with advertisement, and once the distinction is lost, the value of the newspaper is lost; it is acceptable in supplements, but not in main news pages, so went the comments.

I'm sure somebody or the other would have written to him about how IIPM ads look very similar to other regular articles in The Hindu. I think the readers won't complain much if The Hindu uses such unethical advertising to subsidize the cover price to the levels of Deccan Chronicle :-)

4 Comments:

  • The problem with ethics is once you lose it, its hard to fight back and retrieve it. Hindu faces a dilemma of standing upto its 100 odd years of Journalistic integrity vs losing out to lower priced/tabloid competitors.

    Hindu cannot fight on price. Let them retain their readers who look for value,unbiased editorials and such.I haven't seen the print edition so I can't comment on it yet.

    By Blogger Cogito, at 9:29 PM  

  • True. The IIPM bloggers episode was one time when I was thoroughly disappointed abt Hindu. I don't Hindu defend Hindu during newspaper-discussions any more. Of course, those guys paid Hindu regularly for ads but I think an objective mention of the problem would've sufficed.

    By Blogger Govar, at 9:39 PM  

  • IIPM: If the MBA applicant cannot differentiate between an Ad and news, perhaps they deserve to study in such college :)

    By Blogger SLN, at 4:20 AM  

  • @Cogito,
    The Hindu may not want to price war. If they wan't to command a premium, they need to maintain high standards.

    @Govar,
    point taken. even i thought so.

    @SLN,
    :))

    By Blogger Kaps, at 2:22 PM  

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