To recap one more time again:
Last Wednesday, this full-page ad appeared in the Boston Globe:
That got the headscratching staff to wondering who paid for Marty’s Mash Note to the Boston Public Schools. So we sent a note to the Boston Globe Foundation (see lower left in the ad) asking just that: Did Mayor Walsh (read: Boston taxpayers) foot the bill? Did the Globe Foundation? Did no one?
And here’s what Globe lifer Ellen Clegg replied:
The Globe Foundation donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools pro bono, as a public service. When we get a request for support from organizations that fit the Foundation’s mission, we work with the Globe’s advertising department to donate pro bono print ads in space that would normally go to unpaid “house ads.” It’s a great way to engage with the community. Other recent examples of pro bono ads include the One Fund and the MLK Summer Scholars Program, which the Foundation co-sponsors with John Hancock.
(The hardquizzing staff followed up with an email that asked Ms. Clegg these questions: 1) When you donated the ad to the Boston Public Schools, did you know it would take the form of a letter from Mayor Walsh? 2) Who did the creative/production of the ad? 3) Given the ad’s content, did you have any concerns that it would look like you donated the ad not to the BPS but to Mayor Walsh, appearing to compromise the Globe’s arm’s-length relationship with him?
(We have yet to hear back.)
as the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed out to us, the redoubtable Dan Kennedy pointed us to this piece in Commonwealth Magazine, where it seems to us Ms. Clegg told a very different story to CommonWealth Magazine (which, frankly, came late to the party):
Globe Foundation gives full-page ad to Walsh
Mayor approached CEO Sheehan for space
THE BOSTON GLOBE FOUNDATION donated a full-page ad in Wednesday’s newspaper to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh so he could thank the staff of the Boston Public Schools at the close of the school year.
Ellen Clegg, who heads the foundation, said the mayor personally asked Globe CEO Mike Sheehan for the ad space and the foundation provided it because the message was in keeping with the organization’s focus on education and literacy.
Yes, well, Ms. Clegg might want to focus on her own message(s). Clearly, she gave us a mere bag of shells.
Wish you hadn’t done that, Ms. Clegg. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. (See 4:45)
The hardreading staff will call Ms. Clegg tomorrow and try to clarify all this, because turning your newspaper into a mayoral Make a Wish fund is a lot different from “donating an ad to the Boston Public Schools.”
But don’t hold your breath.