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How much of a fight should I put up over this?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bigpern23, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    So I just got my pages for today and when I looked up at the top right corner, where we usually tease our inside material, there it was: A lousy fucking ad. And it's a shitty one. In a space where people are used to getting information, they are now being told to buy cars.

    I'm beyond livid right now for many reasons, not the least of which is that I was never told, nor consulted on the matter.

    More importantly, like I said, a spot where readers used to go to find out what was inside, they now find advertising.

    I've always felt the front page of any section is sacred ground. It's where we appeal to our readers. It's where we tell them, "look our great writing, look at all the information we can give you. But if you want to find out the rest of the story, you'll have to turn the page and there's some people who are going to try to sell you stuff. If you don't want to be bothered with ads, though, you don't have to be."

    Now that's gone. The ad doesn't interfere with my layout at all, but frankly it's a shitty looking ad and I think it ruins the page. I also feel like it takes away from my paper's credibility. I don't think they're doing it on A-1, which is good, but it also makes me think they don't care about my product (which they probably don't) and I'm afraid it will make my readers think the same thing.

    So is this something I need to bend over take like Edward Norton in "American History X?" I'll obviously speak with my boss about it, but if she's not upset by it, should speak to the publisher or write a letter? How bad is this?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    It's becoming a trend to sell ad space on section fronts. Nothing you can do about it. Sorry. :-\
  3. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Yeah, it sucks ... but this is pretty much common practice these days. My old paper has been doing this since about 2003.

    Look on the bright side: It could be worse. The paper I work at now -- a 200K major metro -- sells a strip across the entire bottom of the sports front for ad space.
  4. markvid

    markvid Guest

    If it's a sponsored thing, you're SOL.
    Otherwise, I go nuts.
  5. Boognish

    Boognish Member

    Me paper does the same thing, though we're not close to that big. It's usually on the weekends and the ad is almost always for liqour.

    It's really great during the school year when we have a lot of preps on the cover on top of an ad for Miller Lite.
  6. Most Dallas Morning News sports fronts have a 6x2 ad on the bottom, and more often than not, have a small ad in the top right corner like yours. It's a lot of money for not-so-big ads, so editors jump on it. I wouldn't think there would be anything you could do about it, because the company paid a lot more to do that than just have it inside.
  7. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    Yeah, you're going to have to deal with it. But be happy they're just selling cars. At one stop, we had to run a business card-sized ad for a local sports apparel shop. The shop was known for selling a certain university's stuff and the ad even had the university's colors in it. We already had a reputation for being homers for that university vs. the other big university in our coverage area. The ad didn't help.
  8. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    SOP at our shop, too, unfortunately.
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    BigPern, I don't blame you at all for being upset with the ads. And now that that's out there, get used to it.

    My last shop had a 6x3 ad across the bottom four days a week. No chance that was getting moved. It also had an ad on 1A. The advertising tail wags the dog now more than ever. I don't see the trend stopping.

    Look at it this way ... at least no in advertising/production used your name to help endorse a product. That happened to me, and I got neither an apology from anyone with the publication nor an endorsement check from said company for use of my name with that crappy product.
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    The bigger issue is lack of communication. Are you the SE? If so, you should have been told by the top editor that it was coming, and gotten a chance to voice objections to certain ads (the beer/preps coverage thing from above). If you're a staffer, the SE should have told you it was coming and created a new spot for teases.

    And your boss already knows, so complaining will, at best, make you feel better and get your objection on the record.
  11. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    Depends on how much you like your paycheck. I'm sure they're not selling that space for a buck a day.

    These days, we're lucky our stories aren't sponsored. "This bullshit quote from Eric Wedge sponsored by Waste Management" ....
  12. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Careful ... that could be next.

    (This thought brought to you by Acme Funeral Home ... you stab 'em, we slab 'em ... )
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