While the Congress is reported to have plans to spend around Rs 180 crore for advertising, the GPP spend is expected to be around Rs 50-60 crore and the BJP’s Rs 150 crore. In addition, there are the official government ads which the ruling BJP ends up leveraging.
Each party is in race for airtime on two regional news channels. “We are charging a 40 per cent premium over the usual slot rates that vary from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000. Both the BJP and the Congress are dominating airtime with 60 to 65 slots each. The BJP will soon come up with another slew of ads as Chief Minister Narendra Modi completes 4,000 days in governance. Slots could vary from anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute,” said a marketing head from a local news channel on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the poll campaigns are riding the radio waves as well. The revenues generated from polls could be to the tune of Rs 1 crore for the industry. “The Congress has 12 to 15 ads per day of 25 to 30 seconds while the BJP has started 40 days back and currently they air around 15 to 18 ads per day that will multiply as election inches closer. The BJP has already spent close to Rs 15 lakh till August-end. We sometimes take a call to not run certain ads that are too direct,” said a radio programming head, who too didn’t want to be named.
A group of citizens led by Cedric Prakash, the director of a city-based NGO, made a public appeal by writing to the Election Commission to put a check on the more aggressive advertisements.