Print Media Ad Policy 2020: Regional media to get lion’s share of Govt ads

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has recently introduced the Print Media Advertisement Policy 2020. The policy will be effective from August 1, 2020.

Set up on December 8, 2017 by integration of erstwhile Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP) and Song & Drama Division (S&DD), the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC) is the nodal organisation for paid outreach campaigns through Print Media, Electronic Media, Outdoor Media, Social Media, Internet Websites, etc, on behalf of client Ministries/ Departments and organisations of Government of India. The Print Media Advertisement Policy 2020 will provide clear guidelines for empanelment of newspapers and periodicals, release of advertisements, advertisement rates, payment of bills and penalties.

Also read: I follow print media more closely for COVID-19-related news: Venkaiah Naidu

BOC will maintain a list of approved publications for release of advertisements by empanelling acceptable publications which are found suitable for issue of advertisements of the Government of India.

The primary objective of the Government campaigns through print media is to secure the widest possible coverage of the intended content or message through newspapers and periodicals of current affairs as well as Science, Art, Literature, Sports, Films, Cultural Affairs, etc. However, Government advertisements are not intended to be financial assistance to publications.

The publications have been divided into three categories:

Small publications: Publications with circulation up to 25,000 copies per publishing day.

Medium Publications: Publications with circulation between 25,001 and 75,000 copies per publishing day.

Big Publications: Publications with circulation of above 75,000 copies per publishing day.

Procedure for empanelment of publication

The Policy provides detailed guidelines for considering applications of publications for empanelment for receiving Government advertisements. A Panel Advisory Committee (PAC) will be formed for this comprising the following:

  • Additional Director General (MR & C), BOC- Chairman
  • (ii) Additional Director General (Media & Communication) in the Press Information Bureau (PIB) - Member
  • Press Registrar/ Additional Press Registrar- Member
  • Director/ Deputy Secretary/ Under Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting dealing with print media - Member
  • Additional Director General/ Director, BOC, in charge of Print Media Policy as Convener/ Member Secretary
  • One representative each from the big, medium and small category of newspapers nominated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – Non-official Member.

The tenure of the non-official Member of the PAC would be two years from the date of their nomination by the Government.

Advertisement rates 

  • The rate structure for advertisements against advertisements released by BOC will be worked out as per recommendations of the Rate Structure Committee. The rates will be related to certified circulation of a publication.
  • The payment against advertisements released by BOC will be worked out as per rate for advertisements in print media issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting vide OM No. M-24013/55/2017-MUC-I dated 8th January, 2019 or any subsequent order in this regard.
  • The rates for advertisements by Maharatna and Navratna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) will be 1.5 times the normal BOC rates. For advertisements of other PSUs, normal BOC rates will apply.
  • The rates will be valid for 3 years from the date of revision.

Rate Contract 

All empanelled publications will enter into rate contract with BOC on the basis of rate offered and other terms and conditions, as laid down from time to time, to ensure proper and timely publication of BOC advertisements.

The Rate Contract will be valid for a period of two (2) years.

A change in rate can be accepted every year on submission of latest ABC/RNI circulation certificate with immediate effect.

Publication with CA Certified circulation may claim change in rate on submission of Annual Return to RNI duly certified by Chartered Accountant at the time of online filing of rate-renewal with effect from 1st January of the subsequent year.

Rate revision on the basis of CA certified circulation will be accepted only once in three years of rate contract. However, in case of information regarding increase/ decrease in circulation, Pr. DG/DG, BOC, may accept the same with immediate effect.

Application for renewal of Rate Contract will be filled online on BOC website in the prescribed format and the hard copy along with documents and specimen copies as specified should be submitted to BOC, complete in all respects.

All empanelled publications must submit a copy of annual return submitted to RNI, with proof of receipt of the same in RNI, for the latest financial year, during July to September every year, failing which the publication can be suspended by Pr. DG/DG, BOC.

Publication will be treated as coloured publications if minimum two (2) pages are printed in colour.

Payment and Bills

BOC will release payment of advertisement bills in the name of the publication/ company account directly through ECS or NEFT. In case of any change in the account number, payee’s name or address, it will be the responsibility of the publisher to intimate such changes to BOC, duly supported by self-attested copy of the Declaration authenticated by the Magistrate, to this effect for timely and transparent payments. 

Every publication shall submit bills for publication of advertisements as per the release order of BOC, complete in all respects and supported with relevant documents, within 30 days of the publication of the said advertisements. BOC will endeavour to make payment against the bill within 30 days of its receipt. BOC may levy a fine for late submission of bills uniformly to all publications.

Balanced distribution of advertisements 

BOC will endeavour that a balance is maintained between various categories of newspapers taking into account circulation, language, coverage area, target readership etc., while releasing display advertisements. For this purpose, the distribution of advertisements, among small, medium and big newspapers, in terms of space (in Sq. cms), will be as under to the extent possible:

Category - Ceiling (in terms of space):

Small  - 15%

Medium - 35%

Big - 50%

The distribution of advertisement among newspapers of various languages, in space terms will be as under: 

Category - Ceiling (in terms of space):

English - 20% (approx.)

Indian languages - 80% (approx.)


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