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Radio is the preferred advertising media for political parties for the 2019 General Elections

Ajita Shashidhar     March 27, 2019

Radio has emerged as the most preferred medium for political parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. According to a report by Tam Axis, a division of Tam Media Research, ad insertion on the radio by political parties has increased by 14 per cent this election year, while ad insertion in print has decreased by 9 per cent and by 83 per cent on TV. In the 2014 elections, print and TV had a clear advantage over the radio.

In fact, radio has been a sought after media for the BJP Government and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's 'Man Ki Baat' series, which was aired on both AIR (All India Radio) and private FM channels has been quite a success. "The government has understood that radio reaches not just the masses but also the SEC A-B (socio economic class A-B) quite effectively and has been using the platform quite a bit," says Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group, which owns Radio City.

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The radio spends of the current government, according to Purohit, has gone up by 25 per cent. Almost 15 per cent of the radio ad inventory comes from the Central Government. "They have used the media quite effectively for their various initiatives such as Swachh Bharat," she says.

According to Vinita Shah, Vice-President, Tam Axis, the highest spender on the radio is BJP. "In fact, BJP is at number nine when it comes to television ad insertions, while Congress is at number 4. It is the regional parties which are spending more on TV. In print, the top spenders are BJP and Congress."

The largest spender across TV, print and radio in terms of ad insertions, this time, is BJP (53 per cent share) followed by Congress which is a distant number two with a 14 per cent share.  A large part of election advertising this year was expected to happen on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, in fact, social media advertising was supposed to go up by 150 per cent. However, despite these platforms gearing up to combat fake news and propaganda, it hasn't translated in incremental ads. The ideological battle is actually being through the personal Twitter handles of the various politicians.

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