The Indian government has announced a 25% hike in the ad rates for the print media including newspapers and magazines just in time to keep the media happy before the general election expected in April-May this year. “The decision will be of great benefit especially to the medium and small newspapers, including a large number of such papers in regional and vernacular languages,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a media statement. “The decision takes place with effect from today and will be valid for a period of three years.” The statement says that the increase takes into account various factors including the rise in cost of newsprint.
The new rates go into effect in a general election year when political parties spend considerable amounts of money on newspaper and wide format signage advertising. The last revision in government ad rates was in 2013 just before the 2014 general election. At that time, the ad rates were revised upward by 19%.
According to an answer to a query in the Rajya Sabha last week on government ad spending in the media, it was stated that Rs 1,857 crore was spent on print advertisements in the last three years by the the Indian Bureau of Outreach and Communication. The IBOC which is the nodal agency for advertising by various ministries issued 11,798 release orders for a total ad spend of Rs. 648.82 crore in the financial year 2017-18.