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News/Ad issue

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gil_Hicks, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Gil_Hicks

    Gil_Hicks New Member

    Not sure if this has happened elsewhere (I sure hope not), but our copy desk just came across this situation today for the first time. We're a small-circ operation, so word gets around pretty quick.

    On the bottom of the front page of our "Life" section, there's a graphic-type box, about 3 columns wide or so, called The Scoop that is more or less just a quick-hitter brief type thing. A month ago, advertising put a two-column ad next to it of a local realtor to make it look like it was part of The Scoop. There was no designation of ADVERTISEMENT anywhere on the ad, so we argued until it was fixed and clearly designated an ad (everyone was upset to begin with about the ad going on the section front, let alone it looking like a Q&A news item). Today we're told that the Q&A ad is back, that there is to be NO designation (it's located in The Scoop box) and that the purpose of the ad is to make it look like a part of The Scoop.

    Apparently, ME went above publisher to corporate but got shot down. Like I said: I feel dirty. Anyone else dealing with garbage like this?
  2. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    At my first job, my dear friend, every Sunday and Monday there was a six-column, two-inch ad running across the bottom of the front page of sports. I fought it like hell to no avail. It made me want to vomit.
  3. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    i hate advertising.
  4. VJ

    VJ Member

    If by first job you mean 50% of the sports sections in America, then yes.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I love advertising. Wish, as an industry, we had more.
  6. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    At a former stop the advertising department got an entire page in the section declared "NASCAR only" twice a week so a local car dealer (and racing fan) would buy an ad.

    That really worked well when we had a three-page section on a heavy preps night.
  7. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    This wasn't yesterday.
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Every Gannett shop, as far as I know, has front page and section front ads.
    The three largest circ papers in the U.S. - NYTimes, USAToday and WSJ - have section front ads. I'm not really sure what the big deal is anymore. And if you look at papers from a generation ago, they had ads everywhere.
    So it isn't a radical shift in thinking.
    That little real estate ad, might be paying your salary, or someone else's at your shop.
    The interesting thing is that some studies show that type of advertising had little to no effect on the bottom line, but that's for another day.
    Just be glad your paper is getting ad revenue.
  9. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    fishwrapper, i think you know what i meant. obviously i want advertising to do well and sell a lot. but that doesn't mean i have to like them.
  10. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Years ago, we had the Camel Scoreboard. The whole back page was framed by a Camel cigarettes ad. We were able to fill in the middle with agate. We got to use about three-fourths of what would otherwise have been a full-page ad.
  11. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    If there has to be advertising on a front, I can accept that after a lot of rationalization. Disguising the advertising to look like it has some place with the news copy, I'd draw the line like the first poster wanted to.
  12. Gil_Hicks

    Gil_Hicks New Member

    That's the thing, Red.

    At this point, I've come to accept strip ads that run across the bottom of a section front. I rationalize it as "this is how we avoid layoffs" as someone else posted. I know that rationalization well. But disguised is the perfect word for what this is. It's designed to read like a news Q&A within the Scoop box. No lines of separation, no notification or acknowledgment that it's a paid ad. It's purposefully done so the reader can't tell the difference between ad and news content. It's the first I've seen anything like this.
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