Indian publications are full of facts; the fiction is in their circulation figures.
Cooked up with great expertise, garnished liberally with an extra zero, certified by audit agencies which will consume any shit, and then lovingly dished out to agencies and advertisers, the number of actual copies sold is a joke.
Especially with complimentary copies, subsidised subscription copies, school editions, etc, all adding to a smorgasbord already laden by price-cutting, dumping and other predatory tactics.
Mail Today, the daily tabloid newspaper from the India Today group, is trying a new trick to show that it is doing well against the market leaders in Delhi. On page one each day, below the masthead, the paper prints “today’s circulation”.
These are the numbers from the first week of July2 2010, showing a marginal dip on Sunday:
7 July: 155,575 copies
6 July: 152,876 copies
5 July: 152,905 copies
4 July: 149,925 copies
3 July: 152,970 copies
2 July: 152,845 copies
1 July: 153,555 copies
Who this is intended at and how it will help, knows God, but in an industry that revels in opacity, Mail Today‘s stab at transparency is a welcome one, if only….