October 25, advertisers in Mid-Day will have to pay 70 per cent more than the existing ad card rates for the tabloid's Delhi and Bengaluru editions.
Neville Bastawalla, head, marketing, Mid-Day Infomedia, denies that the hike has anything to do with the upcoming festival season or with the increase in the newsprint costs. In a conversation with afaqs!, he says, "The correction was due for a long time. The existing ad rates are invitation rates. As we've seen a stabilisation of the circulation of the afternooner in the two cities, we've hiked the rates."
According to Bastawalla, Mid-Day has a circulation of more than two lakh copies in Mumbai, and "it has stabilised to about 60,000 copies in Bengaluru and 75,000 copies in Delhi".
Neville BastawallaWhile the card rate in Mumbai is Rs 800 per sq. cm, the existing card rates in Delhi and Bengaluru are Rs 150 per sq. cm and Rs 125 per sq. cm, respectively. The rates will be increased to Rs 250 (Delhi) and Rs 200 (Bengaluru) per sq. cm now.
Meanwhile, loadings for other premium positions have been left untouched to prevent the burden of the rate hike being passed on fully to the clients.
Bastawalla refuses to divulge the ad revenue collection in the two cities in the last one year. "We've given ROs (release orders) on the rate card itself. As for the rest, bargaining is subjective," he says.
On the profile of the advertisers, he says, "We are a local paper with local content. So, we target mostly local advertisers. But in the recent past, we've managed to rope in national advertisers such as Tag Heuer, Virgin Atlantic, ICL, Visa and Ford. Financial companies, which avoided us earlier, are taking us seriously now as we have strong editorial content targeting YUMPIs (young urban mobile professionals of India)."
Bastawalla says that recently, Union Bank tied up with Mid-Day for its entire rebranding campaign. State Bank of India, too, has been a prominent advertiser in the tabloid.