Kerala

Posters are sold by weight here

PALAKKAD New strategies are being experimented successfully to help candidates contain their electoral expenses within the limits stipulated by the State Election Commission. Electioneering posters are being sold by weight rather than by count as part of helping the candidates. Special packages of electioneering materials are also being offered, keeping a clear tab on the electoral expenses.

For the first time in the State’s electoral history, bundles of posters carrying the symbols of different political parties are being sold by their weight. P.V.S. Shihab has introduced the new marketing strategy with the objective of not only helping the candidates but maintaining business during the COVID-19 crisis as well.

An A5 size (half of the A4 size) poster that used to cost up to 60 paise apiece will now cost only 37 paise. “It’s a revolutionary move by Mr. Shihab. Electioneering cost is a matter of great concern for most candidates,” said V.M. Molly, an academic from Chittur.

Reduced profit

Mr. Shihab sells bundles of posters for ₹175 (glossy paper) and ₹215 (ordinary paper) a kg. A4, A5 and dummy 1/6 size posters are sold in large quantities. “I could sell by weight by reducing nearly 40% of the cost at the customer level because of the heavy compromise we made in our profit,” Mr. Shihab told The Hindu.

He reduced the profit from 20% to a meager 2% after researching on the new marketing strategy in the last six months. “We slashed our profit and boosted the volume of business,” he explained the strategy. Applying more care in planning, he has saved on the printing and paper cost as well.

Mr. Shihab has special packages for the candidates. His ₹9,999 combo offer looks very attractive for an average grama panchayat candidate having an expenditure ceiling of ₹25,000. This package includes 1,000 A5 posters, 200 long posters and 30 cloth boards. “It will be good enough for a grama panchayat ward. Candidates can spend the remaining ₹15,000 on other things. Thus we are proving to everyone that the expenditure ceiling set by the Election Commission can easily be maintained,” said Mr. Shihab.

He does not insist on minimum quantity of sale. “We can’t insist that a minimum quantity must be taken, especially when considering the presence of Independent candidates,” he said. The symbols of front-line political parties are ready now and those of Independent candidates will be printed soon.

According to Mr. Shihab, the demand for A5 size posters has gone up like never before. “It’s largely because of its convenient size. It can be stuck almost at any place and it can be used for poster festoons as well.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 9:39:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/posters-are-sold-by-weight-here/article33142530.ece

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