Okay, I will admit that I was a little naïve in assuming that the Supreme Court ruling on government advertisements (propaganda) would somehow in a tiny way reduce the number of ads… I’m not even going to finish that sentence because boy was I wrong.
One of the many things we love to do at Newslaundry is number crunching, especially when it comes to ads. We looked at the Delhi editions of eight major English and Hindi newspapers to see just how many ads were published to celebrate 100 days of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and one year of Modi Sarkar.
Both AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated the fact that they got this far in one piece (well almost for AAP) by inundating newspapers with half-page and quarter-page ads congratulating themselves.
AAP completed 100 days on May 25, however, the ads started pouring in a day early on May 24. Between these two days, AAP published eight ads in all. Two each in The Times of India, Navbharat Times, Hindustan and Hindustan Times.
You can’t blame them though.
Because you know, 100 > 49
Modi Sarkar, on the other hand, celebrated its one-year anniversary on May 26. But the party began on May 25 with ads telling us how amazing this past year has been.
Yes, amazing. That is what it was.
Between May 25 and 27, BJP state governments – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand — and the Centre placed 40 ads in the eight newspapers we checked.
Hindustan Times got the maximum number of ads — eight in total. The Times of India was the runner-up with seven ads, followed by The Indian Express and The Hindu with six and four ads, respectively.
On May 26, the Maharashtra government took it to another level by printing the same ad twice in Hindustan Times (page 5 and page 11) and in The Times of India (page 13 and page 23), just in case you missed it the first time.
Do you see me now?
Now? Do you see me now?
The Hindi newspapers had their fill too.
Between May 25 and 27, Dainik Jagran had five ads followed by Hindustan and Navbharat Times with four ads each and Dainik Bhaskar with two ads.
Though it is difficult to ascertain how much money the Delhi government, the Centre and BJP state governments spent on these ads, the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity, or DAVP, website does provide some insights. Using a rate-chart,“Cost Estimate of Advertisement”,on the website, we calculated the total amount of money the Dillisarkar and the Bharat sarkar may have pumped into newspapers through their ads. The Central government follows the DAVP rates, as confirmed to Newslaundry by representatives in the advertisement departments of all the eight newspapers. The state governments, however, may or may not follow the DAVP rates. They follow the DIPR rates, which are more or less inline with the DAVP rates. Sachin Singh, Deputy Advertisement Manager at Dainik Jagran and Kailash Singh of Hindustan Times’ media marketing (government) department also told us that DIPR follows the DAVP rates.
Now we all know that the BJP loves itself enough to justify writing the handbook on pride, so it didn’t come as a surprise when we found that BJP governments may have spent a total of Rs 65,69,722 on 29 half-page ads and 11 quarter-page ads in just three days. After all, it wasn’t just any ordinary occasion, it was to celebrate BJP’s anniversary at the Centre. We noticed a similar trend last year during election time when BJP spent Rs 6 lakhs a day on an average on newspaper ads.
Said the wolf of New Delhi
Together, the Delhi government, the Centre and the BJP state governments — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand — spent a total of Rs 87,32,426 between May 24 and 27.
Even though one year of Modi and 100 days of AAP may or may not have heralded acche din for all of us, they have clearly been bohot acche for the newspaperwallas.
Research by: Avni Agarwal and Divesh Sharma