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Mumbai Media owners unsatisfied with Western Railway's rebate proposal

By Pray Jani - October 19, 2020

According to the proposal, footfall from June till September, 2020 have been compared with the respective months of 2019

As per the instructions given by the Indian Railways, Western Railway has released a proposal to offer rebate to the media owners considering footfalls on the stations.

Starting from the month of June till September this year, the footfall has been compared with the respective months of 2019. 

According to the calculation of Western Railway, the media owners will have to pay 10% of the license fee for the month of June 2020 which catered to 5% audience. Similarly, 15% license fee for July, 30% fee for August and 50% of license fee for September.

Speaking on the rebate plan, Geetika Gulati, Director, Alakh Advertising and Publicity, said, “The formula through which these numbers have been derived do not consider the market condition of those months. For instance, in June and July, there was no branding activity happening on or inside the trains. Brands did not place advertisements due to restrictions. These numbers do not coincide with the availability of the media and the audience.”

Adding to this, Ajaz Memon, MD, Network Media Solutions explained, “The industry is still in repair mode and is trying to come out of lockdown syndrome imposed by various state governments. With uncertainty about relaxation in license fees, it is a private principle.  Mumbai airport has offered waive off up to December, 2020 unlike government entities such as BMC or Railways who are still debating.” He added, “Ancillary media like Railway and Mumbai metro in-train audio advertisements will fully function only when train services will fully operate which should hopefully happen soon.” 

Media owners have indulged in the argument that although a similar formula was applied for airport media, a large number of audiences were seen at airport as compared to railway stations or in trains in those months as the trains were only operational for selected workers.

Unhappy with the railway authorities’ decision, media owners have submitted a letter to the Western Railway voicing their concerns and awaiting the response, informed Geetika.

However, as the festive season is just around the corner, railway media is expected to be a preferred medium for advertising as it is considered economical. Moreover, Mumbai suburban trains are anticipated to resume full service by November 15 which could bring more incentives for brands.

Because of which, the media owners claimed that the number of inquiries has shot up lately but there is a little hope to convert those leads into deals if the prices go down.

 “It is going to be challenging for a few more months before we expect some sort of normalcy in the outdoor business,” added Ajaz.


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