The official Radio Rebelde is crowing about the upcoming launch of Ofertas, a flyer for classified ads being launched next month by the official Cuban news agency. The project is touted as a “a reliable, legal and attractive space” for “new economic actors” chock full of useful advice about doing business on the island. The agency claims to have been inundated with questions about pricing, etc., but the article offers no details for the casual reader — only that the price of the ads will be “very competitive when compared with other publications on its kind in the country.”
Problem is, there is no other publication of its kind in the country. And if the pricing sussed out by a writer from the Havana Times is any indication, the bureaucrats launching this endeavor are as clueless about the state of the modern publishing business as they are about the nature of competition and the free market.
The publishers of the sheet told Isbel Diaz Torres that they will be charging in convertible CUCs — not Pesos — and will charge 0.85 cents for the first two 30-character lines and 85 cents for each additional line. So a typical ad like a real estate listings in the popular (and free!) Revolico.com or Porlalivre, with close to 600 characters, or 20 lines, would cost a total of 16 CUCs — nearly a month’s wages at official exchange rates. Photos will be extra, of course.
Clearly, the Cuban government has not studied the recent history of the global newspaper publishing industry and the impact that free classified websites like Craigslist have had on it.
1- Image was taken by pinterest