steady rise in newsprint costs has compelled the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) to recommend that its member publications hike their advertising rates by 30 per cent.
Most publications are feeling the heat of the spiralling operational costs resulting from newsprint becoming costlier. afaqs! spoke to Malcolm Dhunjishaw Mistry, publishing director, India Today, to check the implications of the proposed move to increase ad rates for the group's publications.
Mistry says, "Newsprint costs have shot up substantially over the past six months. We have to import large quantities of newsprint, which has to be paid for in dollars. In the past, one dollar cost us Rs 39-40. Now, that stands at Rs 46-47. It has made things difficult."
Malcolm Dhunjishaw MistryAgainst the 30 per cent hike suggested by the INS, India Today has announced only a 9 per cent increase in its ad rates. According to Mistry, the move proves that the publishing house is trying its best to keep the burden on the advertisers at a minimal level. India Today has also given its advertisers a window period of almost two months by making the new rate card effective only from November.
Mistry says, "One understands that it is the middle of the year and most brands and advertisers have already planned their ad spends. So, care has been taken to keep the hike to a bare minimum and we have given our associates enough time to rework and review their budgets."
Mistry feels that India Today's associates and partners will understand the compulsions leading to the rate hike and will support the publication in its endeavours. He adds that India Today is committed to offering value add-ons to its clients through various media. For example, through its various publications such as India Today Spice and India Today Woman, the group offers wide presence and support to its advertisers. It offers a wholesome package delivering full value for money to its associates.
Without revealing the revised rates, Mistry says, "Our relationship with our associates varies according to factors such as commitment, duration of association, bulk of advertising and total value of advertising. So, it is unfair to quote fixed amounts on, say, a full page or half page advertising space."
The 9 per cent ad rate hike applies to India Today magazine, its regional language editions and all other India Today titles. Mistry reasons that with inflation reaching 12 per cent, the effects will have to be borne by the various stakeholders.
He hinted at the possibility of an increase in the cover price of the India Today titles. According to him, readers should be willing to pay more for excellence in editorial content and share the burden of the investment made in newsgathering. He is confident that sooner or later, all publications will have to follow suit and announce ad rate hikes.