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Votebank Ads?

Have you noticed those huge full-page / half-page ads in the news papers the last few days? DH carried two or three such full page ads yesterday, and a bunch of 1/2 page or smaller ones. All ads depict the 'development' efforts by the GOI and GOK departments you probably have never heard existed. Ofcourse, they come complete with prominent pictures of CM or PM or some other minister(s) (who, again, you might have never heard of).

Notice those faces. They want you to - and that is the sole purpose. Content in the ad is not important - faces are. So you remember the faces, next time they come to ask your vote. And don't expect to hear from them again until next time they need your vote. And also remember, YOU are paying for those full page ads, with your taxes.

What pubic good do these ads serve? I don't mind our Government spending money to educate the masses, but in these ads, didn't notice contact details for citizens to call, or details of beneficieries or details of benefits...


murali772's picture

jeevan se mukti!

This has now become the standard pre-election date announcement practice. Once the dates are announced, the election code of conduct does not permit such blatant advertising.

Indeed, colossal waste of money! On top of it all, by organisations that have the least credibility, like ESIC. Rather than "Chinta se mukti", thier ad byline may as well be "jeevan se mukti" - check

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Rithesh's picture

It is election time

You will also be surprised at the rate our CM is laying foundations stones or inaugurating project works in Bangalore in the past 2 weeks.

I was told that the Magadi Road - Cord Road junction underpass was hurried completed with sub-standard work so that the CM could inaugurate it yesterday. So much for one mans publicity carvings!!

Once the elections are announced the model code of conduct comes into force and they are not supposed to do all these and also place advertisements in the newspapers (todays TOI has 4 full pages of such advertisements - who's father's what goes - yar appandu en hogabeku). Hence all this flurry of activities.
javajee's picture

Why do we see Sonia's pictures?

What I notice in all these newspaper add is Sonia Gandhi's pictures. Does she hold any office other than being elected to parliament? I am not sure what right they have to squander tax payers's money. It is some arcane rule that allows them to take advantage of paid advertisement.
silkboard's picture

Rush to beat the deadline

Central coal ministry, ministry of renewable energy and what not beating their drum, every day now. Pictures of ministers flashing all over. Thats one party, the one with legacy

And then there is the other one, the party with a difference - CM is spending his time innugurating ultra local projects, announcing regular matter of fact-ly local area projects in and around the city with no elected local government with so much fanfare.

They are all the same, aren't they!

Why this sudden rush? As others have mentioned above, its to beat the election code of conduct deadline. I bet there would be a dozen PILs in courts this month challenging government spending money on beating its drums via print and TV ads. A political party directly asking for votes would be a lot better than these proxy ads wasting public money.

However, I wonder what prevents our parties from running ads taking direct credit for governance. Otherwise, why are there no direct ads linking a political party with government projects. None of the ads (Central, or state) mention parties by name, nor do they carry their election symbols. Is it some rule preventing them from doing that? Or is that where they draw the line!?

Will we see negative ads in upcoming elections? Imagine a TV ad showing blackouts, mud roads, dried crops etc and saying "Bharat ka Vinaash ho rahaa hai". Will we see someone stopp to these levels as well? I am guessing yes. If not at that level, then at the levels of direct attacks on personalities for sure. Lets see.

nishu's picture

your point is perfectly valid

Hope this stops as soon as possible.
Ravi_D's picture

There is another another unknown department...

.... handling these ads for GOI. Directorate of Advertising and Visual Policy (DAVP).

They have a Ad Policy up on the website. The policy talks a lot about where ads can be placed, but I didn't seen anything about content guidelines for government ads.


Ravi_D's picture

Wrote to DAVP

Thankfully, the ad season is over, with election dates already out.

Wrote the following to DG, DAVP. If other Praja members want to follow up with their own versions, email address is: dgdavp at nic dot in, psdgdavp at nic dot in. Further contact details at:

Here is my email:

Sub: Recent GOI advertisements in the news print


Please allow me to take just a couple of minutes of your time, and forward this request to the right person in your department.

I noticed a series of advertisements in Deccan Herald and other news papers in the last month or so. Some of them highlighted GOI acheivements, while others were Government of Karnataka related. It appeared to me that all of a sudden I saw a surge in such ads, and was curious to know how much did these new ads cost the government. 

Can your department please reveal the following simple statistics? I'm okay even if the numbers are as yet unaudited, or even if you only have rough estimates to share. We just need this for our discussions on our online blog group ( 

1> How much money was spent for advertisements that appeared between 1st Feb, 2009 to 1st March, 2009 in news papers across India?
2> How much was spent between for advertisements that appeared between 1st Jan 09 thru' 31 Jan 09 in news papers across India?
3> How much money was spent in a similar period last year - between 1st Feb, 2008 to 1st March, 2008 on print advertisements across India?

> If you have the required data, please also indicate the amount spent for advertisements that appeared in the state of Karnataka for all three categories above.
> If DAVP coordinated any ads for Govt of Karnataka, can you please provide corresponding numbers for above three categories?

Thank you in advance - for your patience and assistance in sharing knowledge,

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