Kathy Griffin Takes Over Gawker, Defamer Weblogs


In a page-takeover sponsorship, Bravo is promoting its new six-episode, one-hour, unscripted Kathy Griffin show on Gawker and Defamer with several standard ad units along with a controversial date header logo which several bloggers dislike. The move is another in a the long list of line-blurring marketing stunts geared to attract waning eyeballs sick of advertising overload. It's the kid calling "wolf" though. The more advertising pervades media, the more it is ignored in an endless cycle sure to, someday, completely obliterate the usefulness of advertising itself.

Our online sleuth hates the sponsorship and tells us, "I don't mind exclusive sponsorships and advertisers, however, look how haphazardly they just put Kathy Griffin logos over Gawker's and Defamer's date placers. It just looks like a cut and paste. Doesn't look like it belongs there. Not to mention to me, those spots are off limits, that's the sacred space of of the editors"

While Gawker sites have had similar sponsorships, with Sony, Audi, Bridgestone and Cheap Tickets, before, what do those of you working in advertising think about this apparent erasure of the line? Is there a line? Was there ever a line? Should there be a line at all? Is advertising headed down a path of destruction or is this smart marketing? Give us your comments.

by Steve Hall    Aug- 1-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Weblogs   

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the ads are fine, but the logo/date thing looks more like a mistake than anything.


Posted by: dusty bottoms on August 1, 2005 12:15 PM

The logo/date thing proves once again that Nick Denton cares more about whoring his brand to the highest bidder rather than producing quality blogs. Gawker has been awful of late, like for over a year, this is really no surprise.

Posted by: Trekar on August 1, 2005 12:36 PM

I don't really understand your Online Sleuth's point. They're ads in the same old place they've always been. Your post is making a story out of nothing, I feel - I would hardly call a logo attached to a date a 'stunt' - and I'd love to know which particular bloggers actually dislike it.

Posted by: Piers Fawkes on August 1, 2005 12:37 PM


I don't mind the banners, and right placement ads or even the ads between posts, it's more the small logos over the anchors on the site, aka the date holders. It's a space where advertising doesn't belong. The equivalent would be newspapers putting brands logos instead of page numbers.

Posted by: Bucky on August 1, 2005 12:45 PM

I don't think it's particularly shocking or unexpected. I just think it's unfortunate since these blogs are written in a very anti-bullshit editorial style. It could undermine their credibility as no-nonsense, no-holds-barred opinion journals. However, as long as they're allowed to refer to Griffin as a c-list celebrity in the future - without any reprisals from their sponsors - it's all good. If they start editorially pandering to their sponsors, however, it will take all the fun out of reading these blogs. (Which I do - every day.)

Posted by: BB on August 1, 2005 12:50 PM

Kathy Griffin looks more like a mistake than anything. She was never a beauty, but no on e needed her to be beautiful -- just funny. Thanks to her overindulgence in bad plastic surgery, she appears freakishly deformed *and* sadly un-funny.

Posted by: Bo-Toxic on August 1, 2005 12:52 PM

Just FYI from Gawker here; We've had date header sponsorships on various Gawker sites for a while now -- Audi, Bridgestone, Sony and Cheap Tickets have all done this over the past year.

Posted by: Gabriela Giacoman on August 1, 2005 1:10 PM

my adblocker zaps it - that is the future path of online consumption

Posted by: anon on August 1, 2005 2:52 PM

You know as well as anyone that any and every line will be crossed as long as a dollar waits on the other side. It's funny how advertising is expected to cure ailments of shows or products that are lacking(As i assume Ms. Griffith's show will be), when some good old fashioned hard work and word of mouth are going to be most sucessful in the future.

Posted by: Aaron Hooks on August 3, 2005 1:39 PM