Hello! Wake up! It’s that time of the year again. The ad generating annual b-school survey is over (25% of Outlook‘s print space was occupied by ads from b-schools only). India’s two leading weekly newsmagazines (and some non-leading ones too) are on a circulation-enhancing spree. Selling what is believed to sell the most – SEX.
So much has already been said, written and shown about it, so what’s new? No brain raking needed. A simple opinion poll will suffice. Round up a random sample of gullible idle respondents, some real, the rest concocted (I speak from first hand experience here). Get them to fill up a dreary questionnaire (Just tick, don’t think). Total, average, correlate, deviate and come out with figures which startle the reader. If the deviation from the accepted norm of social behaviour is not of a shocking degree, no problem at all. Some other sleazy story can occupy the cover – the innards can always be filled up by numbers, bars, diagrams, graphs – a little tweaked – for that sensationalistic value. The empty spaces (there’ll be lots) adorned with nudes.
What’s the story? Who cares? Doesn’t tickle those grey cells but definitely does stimulate those testosterone producing glands. The vendor outside my office displays multiple copies prominently and the two rivals disappear from the stands with competing vigour. Scandalised readers will again remind Vinod Mehta of his Debonair days and he’ll wonder over the solitary condom ad in an issue on sex.
When the jurnos are no good, throw in the pollsters (and some photographers).