afaqs!

DNA Bengaluru to be launched on December 14

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | November 12, 2008
Market sources claim that there has been a two month delay in its launch

DNA & #BANNER1 & # is all set to be launched in Bengaluru on December 14. There has been much speculation about the supposed delay in the launch of the daily. Reasons from low subscription figures to economic regression were cited. However, officials at DNA had announced that the daily would roll out any time between October 2008 and January 2009 while launching a pre-cursor campaign in August.

But the Bengaluru print market believes that there has been a considerable delay in the launch of the daily, which has editions in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune and Jaipur. In fact, the media observers in the city say that the daily was supposed to be launched in mid October and was deferred because of several reasons. A possible reason for this perception is the campaign which broke in early August.

A Bengaluru based senior media planner says that the key reason for the early launch campaign of DNA was the launch of Deccan Chronicle in August. Deccan Chronicle's launch and DNA's launch campaign came at the same time.

"Deccan Chronicle aggressively carried out sampling exercises in the first month of its launch and pitched for subscriptions," the planner says.

While the teaser campaign was on, DNA embarked on its subscription drive. A similar model was adopted for its Mumbai launch. DNA plans to reach the 2.5 lakh subscription figure prior to its launch because it doesn't want to depend on vendor sales. But it is still working towards that target. Further delay, media planners say, will not be received well by the media fraternity and the consumers.

Another executive from a media agency says that the sales team is making visits to media agencies and explaining the reasons for the delay, citing reasons such as the economic recession and the unachieved subscription target.

"Since DNA is not a well known brand in the South, the daily is not being received in a favourable manner," a media planner adds. Besides, the general opinion is that the Bengaluru market already has a fair number of English newspapers such as The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, Deccan Herald, The Times of India, Mid-Day and Bangalore Mirror.

DNA is reportedly investing a huge amount for its Bengaluru plan, which includes the printing press. The setting up of the printing press in Jigani, an industrial area in South Bengaluru, is also being touted as a reason for the delay.

Meanwhile, KU Rao, chief executive officer, Diligent Media, is unperturbed by the market talk. He says that the launch of the paper is not on schedule, but before schedule, because it was slated to be launched in January 2009. "We are in the final stages of the setup and will be ready to launch by mid December," he says.