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Digital

HT-TOI feud continues; HT Media's Rajan Bhalla releases digital video

After taking potshots at one another through accusatory e-mailers, the HT-TOI war over market leadership and circulation figures has found expression in video format. In a digital video, Rajan Bhalla, HT Media's chief marketing officer, tries to set the record straight.

The competition-turned-feud between The Times of India and Hindustan Times, has now found a new medium of expression - online video. Sure, the two print media players have released cheeky, animated videos against one another in the past, but this time the videos feature their respective brand custodians themselves.

In a nine minute-long video, Rajan Bhalla, HT Media's chief marketing officer, tries to set the record straight by talking about HT's readership and responding to TOI's recently made counter-claims on the subject. Interestingly, Bhalla's video is a response to one released by Rahul Kansal, executive president, Brand Function, BCCL, publisher of TOI. Kansal, in his video, attacks 'HT 2 Minutes', a Hindustan Times product, and accuses his rival for misleading advertisers.

HT-TOI feud continues; HT Media's Rajan Bhalla releases digital video
Bhalla clarifies, on camera, that as per the latest batch of IRS results, HT is the No.1 newspaper in Delhi NCR. As far as readership in Mumbai is concerned, he insists, the gap between his paper and TOI is reducing fast.

"Given that our lead over TOI in Delhi NCR is almost 40 per cent... this has created panic and hence, irrational behavior from them," he says.

Bhalla goes on to defend HT 2 Minutes by saying it is meant to instill in young readers the habit of reading the newspaper. Later in the video, Bhalla talks about HT's rate card, one he claims is designed to give advertisers flexibility on the cost front.