Bennett Coleman & co (the publishers of the Times of India) would have us believe it is launching Mumbai's first "co-created newspaper". This, 2 months after DNA - Daily News and Analysis from the Zee-Bhaskar group - had plastered Bombay with its hoardings asking you to help create its soon-to-be launched newspaper.
No doubt the DNA survey is more an exercise in making people feel their opinions matter than a serious exercise in market research. But, you know it has actually taken place. You've seen the surveyers in their purple uniforms, they've rung your doorbell - or that of someone you know.
On the other hand, Bennett's 'massive direct contact program' is something I have learnt of through an article published on page 1 of today's Times of India.
This does not mean that the almost-ready-for-launch Mumbai Mirror will not live upto its claim of being the 'first paper designed for - and by - the young Mumbai reader'. You don't have to survey 11 lakh people to design such a paper.
The Mumbai Mirror has a good - and young - team in place which may well deliver on its promise of being a no-nonsense paper for the young.
But in the same spirit of no-nonsense, why this nonsense that we-too-have-done-a-survey. The 'survey' idea is owned by DNA, by trying to appropriate it you become a me-too.
Secondly, whatever survey Bennett undertook was at a scale far smaller than DNA. Hence it is likely to be viewed as a false or exaggerated claim. Which again is something young people are extremely allergic to.
To thine own self...
In actual fact, the 'Mumbai Mirror' survey is a door-to-door sales exercise. Says a student who is on the sales team," We are going to housing societies with the dummy copy and signing up subscribers. It is Re 1/- per day ie Rs 30 per month and we have to get a minimum of 8 subscriptions a day or we don't get paid for that day's work."
Bottomline: If 'Mumbai Mirror' is to truly 'cut the faff and connect with the new reader of today' - as is its stated intention - it needs to treat the young with a great deal more respect!
And it first needs to look into the mirror and be true to itself.