No, the BJP has not become country’s top advertiser, they are not even in the Top ten

On Friday morning, a lot of us woke up with our social media accounts flooding with the news that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become country’s largest advertisers on television. It was claimed that according to the latest Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings, BJP has occupied the number one position in terms of advertisement, leaving behind top national companies such as Hindustan Lever Ltd (HUL), Wipro, Cadbury etc.

Like most other such messages, people kept on forwarding the news without bothering to check the facts of the matter. So much so that even top media houses and opposition leaders brought the claim at face value, without any cross-checking. The Congress party went on to the extent of demanding ED probe into it.

But are the claims about BJP becoming country’s top advertiser genuine? Has a political party really surpassed multinational companies in terms of advertisement? Well, to the much disappointment of the opposition and exact contrary to what is being claimed, BJP has not become the country’s biggest advertiser. As a matter of fact, they are not even in top 10, on the BARC ratings.

According to BARC ratings, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HUL) is the top advertiser for the week ending November 16, followed by Reckitt Benckiser, ITC, Procter & Gamble, Ponds India, Wipro, Cadburys, Brook Bond Lipton, Godrej Consumer Products and Marico.

(Top 10 advertisers)

Here, one may wonder that if BJP has not become the top advertiser, then what all the noise is all about? The fact is, that BJP has become the top advertised brand and not the top advertiser.

(Top 10 advertised brands)

Still confused? Let us break it up. A giant company like HUL has dozens of products to advertise. And so even though they are the biggest investors, their share of advertisement gets divided into number of brands. However BJP is not a company, It is a political party, that advertises only itself, which is why their entire share of advertisement is only used in promoting one brand.

Being the top advertiser and top advertised brand are two completely different things. The BARC data is available publicly and hence there should be no scope for a confusion like this one.