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Brenner Thomas of Not Only But Also, noticed The New York Times has placed advertising on Site Meter, a website traffic measurement service that most every blogger uses to see how many people visit their blogs, where they come from and what stories they read. Thomas surmises its a strategy to get bloggers to simply write about the fact that The New York Times is advertising on Site Meter, as we're doing right now, to gain publicity among bloggers. As intriguing a strategy as that may be, it's more likely due to Site Meter's use of the Tribal Fusion ad network which serves ads to thousands of sites allowing the New York Times to reach a very broad audience. Site Meter just happens to be one of those thousands of sites.
Hoping to reverse sagging circulation, the LA Time will increase coverage of Hollywood and celebrities, run shorter stories, and more cover more regional news. Great, all we need is another celebu-rag. However, Dean Baquet, formerly the paper's managing editor who became editor in August, says he doesn't want the reputation of the Times as a journalistic heavyweight to suffer. Baquet says he will remain committed to serious reporting but, at the same time, he's considering re-establishing a gossip column. While celebrity news coverage seems to be the means to survival these day, we already have Defamer, not to mention the other thousand media outlets that cover Tyra Banks and Jennifer Love Hewitt's obsession with their breasts. We don't need the Times going Hollywood as well.
Not to be out news'd by Vogue's September ad page monstrosity, The New York Times Magazine announced today its upcoming fall issue of "T: Women's Fashion" has a total of 169 advertising pages – surpassing last year's debut issue, which had the largest number of ad pages since 1985 among any of its predecessor "Part 2-Women's Fashions of the Times" publications. "T: Women's Fashion" will be published on Sunday, August 28 and will feature actor Tilda Swinton on the cover.
WorldUnfurled found an ad in a local Denver paper for Linda Huang, a plastic surgeon that carried the odd headline, "The Best Middle-aged, Female, Asian Plastic Surgeon in Denver" and wondered just how many middle-aged, female, Asian plastic surgeons there actually are in Denver. If this ad does anything, it certainly describes what you're getting very concisely.
UK-based Ryanair, last Friday, ran an ad that referenced the recent London bombings to promote low fares. The ad appeared in UK newspapers last week with the headline, "London Fights Back," an image of Winston Churchill and a speech bubble that contained an alteration of a famous June 1940 speech and read, " "We shall fly them to the beaches, we shall fly them to the hills, we shall fly them to London!" The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 100 complaints regarding the ad but Ryanair has refused to pull the ad.
Ryanair Head of Communication Peter Sherrard explained the move telling the Guardian, "We are trying to ensure that the terrorists don't succeed in paralyzing people with fear, which is their primary objective, and that people continue to lead their lives as normal and continue to fly."
This week, in yet another effort to save sagging circulation figures, The Boston Globe Launched Sidekick, a new, tab-sized section billed as "your guide to a better day." The section will be inserted in the main paper appear Monday through Friday. The section will include an enhanced television review section, more comics and puzzles and an interactive feature which will publish Boston.com reader-submitted content, including pictures and message board commentary. Capitalizing on the poker craze, Sidekick will feature two poker columns. The section is being distributed within half priced editions of the Daily Globe in an obvious bid to build readership and subscriptions for the main daily.
Earlier this week, the Sidekick was promoted with a bit of street distribution activity. Though in a completely different category, we have to wonder what T-Mobile and Danger, make of the Sidekick mobile device, think of the Globe's choice of name for its new paper.
Print advertising was on the witness stand today at the annual Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Print Advertising Forum, held at the Grand Hyatt in New York.
The keynote address presented by Mark Kaline, Global Media Manager, Ford Motor Company, and Chair, ANA Print Advertising Committee, and Robert Liodice, CEO and president of the ANA, focused on current challenges in the print advertising space and the increasing needs of advertisers for improvements in marketing accountability.
Following the now tired "banned ad strategy," Wonkette reports an ad for the Hyperion published book, The Washingtonienne, the tell-all Jessica Cutler novel, was, first, accepted by Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, then rejected. Apparently, the book is "Washington's version of Sex and the City." Knowing Washington politics, there was probably a greasy back room deal between Hyperion and Roll Call just to manufacture this PR stunt.
We're ashamed to admit we were actually a proponent of this sort of advertising - though on websites - way back in 1996. We're talking about shadow ads. Shadow ads are lightly visible images imprinted, or watermarked, on editorial pages of newspapers. While some papers have run the unit for quite some time, mostly over stock quote pages and movie listing, insert giant Valassis caused heightened interest recently when it contacted several newspapers to discuss the ad unit and explore the level of its acceptance among publishers. While publishers debate acceptance, the bigger question raised by this ad unit is the potential damage forced ad viewing will have on editorial credibility and how any change in that credibility will change viewership or readership.
Write Nice Things Or Else
It seems BP (more accurately BP's agency MindShare who crafted BP's stringent "zero-tolerance policy") and Morgan Stanley have everybody's panties in a bunch over their recently publicized ad policies stipulating their right to pull ad schedules based on disagreeable editorial content. Ad Age has skewered the announcements, writing, "Shame on BP. And shame on Morgan Stanley and General Motors and any other advertisers involved in assaults on editorial integrity and independence. By wielding their ad budgets as weapons to beat down newsrooms, these companies threaten the bond that media properties have with their audiences, the very thing that gives media their value to advertisers to begin with."
We're none too pleased either. But, for all the reaction these announcements have received, there's nothing all that new. Policies such as these have been around forever. They've just never brazenly been made public. And that's the issue.