Claims, counter-claims rule IRS again

23 Dec,2011


By A Correspondent


It’s ironic. Mumbai is where most of the biggie media agencies exist. Some of the largest spenders are headquartered here. Still, publications pull out all stops to make crazy claims.


Okay, they aren’t incorrect and the initiated amongst them can obviously see through the claims, but those who don’t – the lay reader, the young homemaker or the senior citizen who is not in the know – is sure to wonder what the truth. And if he/she subscribes to more than one paper, we are sure there will be some confusion.


Obviously, the belief is that the reader is an ass. But this is a policy that can backfire terribly.


But the confusion in a city like Mumbai is thanks to the two types of data that MRUC throws up in its IRSes – Average Issue Readership (AIR) and Total Readership (TR). Publications put up the data which throws them in better light. Also, newspaper X is a compact (tabloid- like-sized) newspaper while Y is a broadsheet. So one may be the #2 overall, another may be #2 broadsheet. Z may be #2 by TR and Y may be #2 by AIR.


Fact is AIR is the accepted currency and there is a section which believes that a newspaper that comes free with another paper shouldn’t be taken for review. But there is a section which says that if a newspaper is able to attract revenues separately, that’s decidedly the best yardstick for the product’s utility. Perceived or otherwise.


Sadly, the conferences which the Market Research Users Council and Hansa Research Group would conduct to release every round of the Indian Readership Survey have been done away with. The detailed dump is no longer handed out to the trade media. All of this charade of X, Y, Z could’ve been avoided had we got city and region-wise numbers from the MRUC (or via Hansa), but that’s not to be.


Let’s look at the tables in detail (that we have based on the toplines publicly available).







There’s no need of words. The growth or degrowth percentages tell the story. Some spectacular successes. Others not so.

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