With the Congress party firmly in the saddle, the implications to our world are only positive.
The immediate biggest beneficiaries are CNBC TV18 and The Economic Times. The stable government ensures that there are two full-fledged budgets in the financial year. That’s a lot of moolah heading their way – and that’s only the beginning of the good news.
The new government is expected by most analysts to up spends on infrastructure dramatically. The direct implication of this is that capital will need to be raised. That means a lot of corporate advertising and lots of campaigns for equity issues, rights issues, etc. That’s a lot of moolah, again.
The sensex is expected to jump (going up on Monday by over 2000 points) and is expected to maintain high levels. That means that those who stayed away from the IPO market will make a beeline, and that’s a lot of moolah, again.
But these are all trivial. The command that Dr Manmohan Singh will have over the cabinet will mean that he will not be constrained by pulls to the left and that has already resulted in a significant positive change in the overall sentiment of industry. It will not be long before there is a change in the sentiment of the consumer.
This is the big one. Confidence will lead to increased consumer spends in almost all categories. Hopefully, the mood will lead consumers to go back to the malls and retail outlets, get back to replacing white goods, reduce the time between mobile phone models, fill the restaurants and the airports and the hotels.
Obviously, none of this will happen overnight, but a stable government will mean that the return of consumer confidence will not take as long as it might have taken in the case of a truly hung parliament and a lame coalition government.
All these point to increased spends on advertising – much sooner than most of us had anticipated.
The business channels, the business magazines and the pink papers are all immediately back in business. If money has to be raised, and surely money will have to be raised in many thousands of crores, the business media is best placed to carry the advertising that will cause investors to part with their money.
Despite the slowdown and with no knowledge of the outcome of the election, Network18 had gone ahead with the launch of Forbes India (now scheduled for a May 21 launch) and ET Now readied itself for broadcast. The election results will go a long way in easing their revenue concerns and that is indeed welcome news.
Far away from India, in the UK and the US, advertising and media agency global heads will be heaving a sigh of relief as well in the knowledge that India, more clearly than ever before, will be less affected by the global recession than once conventional wisdom had suggested – which means, even if the western world takes time to recover, Indian units will, indeed, contribute at least what had been projected in the early part of the year.
As Madison’s Sam Balsara said in response to a question from my colleague: “This good news coming from India at this time where there isn’t too much good news coming from anywhere else in the world is going to do a lot of good for India and change sentiment in India and confidence of Indian businessmen in immediate future. And advertising growth is determined largely by sentiment.
With this change in sentiment, the advertising sector is bound to bounce back and the Pitch–Madison Media Advertising Outlook update that we have promised in July August will be very different in character than the one we put out in January.”
I wrote, a few months ago, that all we needed to bounce back was a stable government post-elections and a good monsoon.
The first has fructified. The second looks likely.
It’s time to open the bubbly.
PS: Today's Economic Times couldn't accommodate the crossword, normally on the Op-ed page. Why? There are just too many ads in the 20 page edition. A sign of things to come?
The problem is, no other Mumbai paper carries a half-decent cryptic crossword. One more reason for print lovers like me to defect to online newspapers, I guess.