Talking Newspapers Startle Readers in India

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The unusual campaign was not without its detractors. One man complained to the Times, ''It took me 15 minutes to find a way to get the thing to shut up. They should have added instructions on how to stop it." Another prominent Indian advertising executive told the paper it was ''intrusive and unwelcome."

''When a man gets up in the morning, he wakes up with the newspaper and this is the only time of peace and solace in the day," he complained.

Technology in Talking Newspaper Differs From Technology in Musical Greeting Cards

Volkswagen and The Times Group declined to say how much the device cost. Gururaj told ABC News, "Our costs are confidential. But yes, the device can be cost-efficient depending on the usage/scale."

Some expert the talking newspaper ads to spread.

"Now a new concept has entered the portfolio of ideas and companies will copy it," states Jessie Paul, CEO of marketing consultancy Paul Writer in a leading Indian business newspaper. "Companies will say, what worked for them will work for me and try and create their own messages.''

Voice recorded books and greeting cards that are activated by page turns are currently available in the United States, but that technology is different than the light-sensitive chips used in the Indian campaign. Also, the system would be too bulky and costly for daily newspapers or magazines use.

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