Beyond the ethics of treating pictures on the internet as having no copyright and doing puff-pieces for Times Private Treaty clients, The Economic Times is also in a load of trouble of late, and that has nothing to do with editorial. The Times ad-sales team, undoubtedly the most aggressive beast in the market has not been able to place a front-page ad at ET, at least in Delhi, a market where ET is the #3 paper, much over the last week. If ET starts to hurt and stops getting big-value adverts, can you imagine how badly things are going for everyone else.
Now, we also know the story about newsprint costs going through the roof, which is affecting everyone in print, page-counts are down and ad-edit ratios are changing. But the guys who advertise are also hurting, and ad-rtes which have soared over the past two years, and that have been responsible for the mad salary increases are now starting to hurt. One editor, recently pointed out that survival will now depend on government and political adverts.
This of course leads to the question, will the bunch of private treaties guys now start buying stakes in political parties in excahnge for adverts. Imagine the PT guys offering Mayawati free ads for a 5 per cent stake in the BSP, and if Mayawati was to hand out dividends, they'll make their money back in no time. Of course, no negative stories could be done either. Personally, I don't think the Private Treaties guys are beyond anything.
Expect some high-profile launches to be postponed in this scenario and say good-bye to the era of hefty-raises. How well did you make out in this period?