Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Very often, and very often, we do see release of advertisements by the govt in most of the newspapers be it regional or national papers. I have been able to outline three different kinds of advertisements. Basic principle of advt is a target audience

1—Ones released in memory of the great heroes. Recent example is the one released on Rajiv Gandhi’s anniversary. The cost is said to be around Rs 300 crores. Each one of us may have an opinion of him, but he was the PM of the country. They ensure that a photograph of the PM along with other ministers is prominently placed. The ministry which releases the advertisement ensures that the photograph of the minister in charge is placed next to the PM and other VIPs. Certain VVIPs cannot be ignored. Such advertisements could be accepted. This category of ad has a target audience

2---Ones released as a piece of information to the general public and for benefit of every section of society, like the dates for polio drops. They ensure that a photograph of the CM, PM and all other possible ministers is prominently placed. Certain VVIPs cannot be ignored. Such advertisements are good and accepted. This category has a target audience.

3---Ones that are being released—God knows for whom and for what purpose. I would refer to an ad in the HT 29/08-Workshops on Designing and Implementing CITIZEN’S/CLIENT’S CHARTER & GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISM. The advt carries a photograph of the PM and the minister Chavan.—

Ref to an advt HT 31/08 Awards to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. This advt carries photograph of the President, Prime minister, Chairperson KVIC, Sonia Gandhi and a minister in charge. These two are only examples. These ads do not convey any message in public interest, the venues mentioned here are not open to public, volunteers will not be a part o the discussions, there is no public participation.

Who is the target audience?

What is the purpose of these advertisements? It is tax payer’s money being spent on unproductive issues. Some sycophants may be at their best trying to please those in power .It may also be an opportunity to keep the media on the right side of the powers. Is it?

It is estimated that govt spends over Rs 10,000 crores / year on such advertisements.

As per the industry norms, legally, the advertising agency is entitled to a 15% commission. In this case, the commission amount works out to be about Rs 1500 crores. No one needs to be a MBA to understand as to what COULD be happening to Rs 1500 crores

Your guess is as good as mine.


Posted 31/08/10, b k chowla


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