Cuba expanded the means to give a breath of fresh air to the private market with the recent coming out of the Ofertas website, a platform for the presentation of classified ads and publicity published by the National Information Agency (AIN). A few days after its creation, the number of ads for purchasing and selling has moderately grown, though they are already visible in almost all the categories.
The response it has achieved in a short period of time is sending a sign that it is here to cover a space, but a space that did not remain virgin. Ofertas.cu faces the strong competition of sites like Revolico and others devoted to classified ads from dominions established abroad.
As tacit recognition of that competition, the note released by AIN affirms that the Ofertas website is the “first .cu exclusively for publishing classified ads and publicity by a Cuban media.”
With this space, the Cuban news agency gives continuity to the publication inaugurated three months ago with the declared aim of “becoming the ideal publicity means for the new economic actors” and the traditional Cuban state-run enterprise, as the editor-in-chief of AIN, Edda Diz, commented then.
The monthly 16-page colour tabloid entered the scene in May with a print run of 60,000 copies. Half of the space is devoted to classified ads and publicity, a type of information of limited presence in the Cuba media.
Since the publication’s birth, the editors admitted that they were facing rivals in a market of communication of purchases and sales and business publicity. After specifying that the insertion of classified ads would be free of charge, they expressed their intention of placing the publicity rates at competitive levels. “We have tried to make the prices around 50 per cent lower than what other media charge for publicity. Our prices compete.”
The Ofertas website has a dynamic format and minimalist design, according to the current tendencies of the 2.0 web. The principal classified ads include computers, electrical appliances, transport, properties, jobs and services which range from home care and gastronomy to travel and tourism.
The classified ads for the purchase and sale of homes are the ones that have found the most followers, with more than 420 classified ads barely five days after the site was created. Cell phones and accessories are another with a strong demand. The rest fluctuates between 50 and 60 ads inserted in less than a week.
According to the information provided by AIN, access to this site can be gained from any part of the world and from Cuba, even when navigating through the national network. It also offers the variant of email to place classified ads on the site or to gain access to information through a search system.
A publication called Opina circulated in Cuba during the 1980s and it was very popular and one of the most well-known predecessors of Ofertas. But it disappeared in the early 1990s with the economic crisis that threw the country into convulsion and considerably reduced the media scenario. For some 20 years this type of information was not covered. Afterwards, multiple spaces of Cuban classified ads published abroad gradually appeared on the internet, like Revolico. They took the lead on Ofertas in the ads market and today present a strong competition. (2015)
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