Indian government ups media ad rates

03 March 2009

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has increased the rate it pays for ads by 10%, in order to help the country's ailing media industry offset the impact of the growing advertising slowdown.

Anil Sharma, the minister of state for information and broadcasting, said the "special relief to the media industry" showed the government was "sensitive to their concerns".

The normal 15% agency commission on government ads will also be waived until July, but Sharma added the rate increase would be subject to "documentary proof of loss of revenue in non-governmental advertisements" compared with last year.

The Directorate of Audiovisual Publicity, which places ads on behalf of the government, has been under particular pressure from newspaper publishers, who argued it pays around 90% less than commercial clients for ads.

Shobna Bhartia, executive director of the Hindustan Times, had previously stated that newspapers were effectively "subsidising" government print executions with the funds raised from commercial deals.

Many print titles had also threatened to stop printing government ads, particularly as an election is due later this year, which is likely to result in an influx of politically-motivated advertising.

Data sourced from Economic Times/Times of India; additional content by WARC staff