Citgo Strong? More Globe Ads to Save Landmark Sign

April 28, 2016

When we last left the Saga of the Citgo Sign, the company had run these two ads in Sunday’s Boston Globe.


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We thought the ads were interesting in light of the uncertain fate of the landmark Citgo sign, and we said we’d look into them further.

But splendid reader Greg Turner beat us to the punch.

Your blog post about the Citgo sign just caught my eye; I’m a BU grad and big fan of the landmark. I clicked around the web and it would appear that Citgo itself is behind the Globe ads.

The hashtag you highlighted matches up with this web page – – which has the same “Boston’s Sign logo” and the photos that are used in the ad. For example: This one and this one are in both places.

The ad campaign is obviously keeping the “petroleum corporation” part of Citgo in the background!


Well, that got us to contact Citgo’s public affairs manager Fernando Garay yesterday and he said he’d be glad to answer a few questions so we sent him this:

Thanks for getting back to [us] so quickly, Mr. Garay.

A few questions:

Are the Boston Globe ads indeed tied to the uncertain future of the Citgo sign?

What kind of response did you get to the ads?

Have you run ads in other media outlets? Did you consider running these two in the Boston Herald?

Do you have plans to run ads in the future or expand your social media efforts beyond #CITGOsign on Twitter?

Thank you [and etc.].


A day later, no word yet from Mr. Garay. But the ads did run again in today’s Globe (and not – again – in the Boston Herald).


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Signing off, for now . . .

SaveTheFood Campaign Leaves Boston Herald Hungry

April 26, 2016

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ad Council have teamed up to run an ad campaign with the theme Save the Food, urging people to reduce food waste.

Here’s the eighth-page ad that ran in yesterday’s Boston Globe Metro section.


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Today, the campaign moved up to the A section of the Globe.


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On its website, the Ad Council elaborates:

While food plays a key role in shaping our identities and it is highly celebrated in American society, each year 40 percent of food in the United States goes to waste, translating to $162 billion lost and wasted water, energy, fertilizers, cropland, and production costs.

In addition to wasting precious resources, nearly all of the food waste ends up in landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a form of climate pollution that is up to 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In fact, food is the single largest contributor to U.S. landfills today. All of this while one in seven Americans do not have a steady supply of food to their tables.

Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain . . .


Speaking of waste, the headscratching staff wonders why the Ad Council isn’t also running its ads in the Boston Herald. We’re contacting the group to ask just that, and as always, we’ll keep you posted.

Extra! Boston Herald Credits Globe Twice in One Day!

April 25, 2016

From our Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

In the course of covering local events, the Boston dailies often piggyback on one another’s stories, most often without acknowledging that the rival paper got there first. (See, for example, the Boston Globe’s routine drafting off the Boston Herald’s Grand Prix of Boston coverage.)

But sometimes one of the dailies does the right thing. Spoiler alert: It isn’t the Globe.

Page One of yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe featured this piece about Mayor Martin J. Wiretap.

Walsh is drawn into federal labor probe

Before he was mayor, when Walsh was a labor leader, he was heard on a wiretap saying he had warned a developer using non-union workers. Walsh denies it.

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A sweeping federal investigation into allegations of strong-arm tactics by unions has triggered a wave of subpoenas to union leaders, developers, and Boston City Hall staff, bringing scrutiny to Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration and his work as a labor leader before taking office in 2014, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

At issue in the investigation is whether labor officials threatened developers and business people who hired nonunion workers on their projects. Walsh, though apparently not an early focus of the probe, became drawn into it through wiretaps on which he was recorded in 2012, saying he had told a development company it would face permitting problems on a planned Boston high-rise unless it used union labor at another project in Somerville, according to people familiar with the tapes.


Well that’s a big story and you knew right off it would be in the Herald today and sure enough it gets a two-page spread.


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Nothing unusual there. But what does stand out are the two times the Globe is credited with breaking the story, first in Hillary Chabot’s piece:

Walsh yesterday shook off suggestions that a federal inquiry into labor strong-arming has any connection to his work as mayor. The Boston Globe reported that Walsh as the head of Boston Building Trades Council was heard on a wiretap in 2012 saying he had warned a developer to get union workers on a Somerville project or risk losing Boston permits.


Then a second time in this piece by Jack Encarnacao and Laurel Sweet:

The wiretapped statement was captured during a conversation between Walsh, then-head of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, and Laborers Local 22 leader Anthony Perrone, the Boston Globe reported yesterday citing unnamed sources.


Good for you, Heraldniks!

And, hey, you Morrissey Boulevardiers: Take a lesson, wouldja?

Who’s Behind the Boston Globe Ads for #CITGOsign?

April 25, 2016

As you splendid readers might recall, Boston University announced several months ago that it is selling a group of Kenmore Square buildings atop of which sits the Citgo sign.

From BU Today:

BU May Sell Kenmore Square Properties

Deal includes building with iconic Citgo sign

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As part of a four-decade-long effort to upgrade Kenmore Square, Boston University has hired a broker to manage the sale of several high-profile buildings it owns in the square, including the one that houses Barnes & Noble at BU and supports the iconic Citgo sign, which has loomed over the square since 1965.

Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations, says the University will work with Newmark Grubb Night Frank, known as Newmark, to sell the properties, which include 334,000 square feet of commercial space, now occupied by Barnes & Noble, Bertucci’s restaurant, Cornwall’s Pub, and several other tenants. The nine buildings that will be put on the market line the north side of Kenmore Square, from 648 Beacon Street to 541 Commonwealth Avenue and 11-19 Deerfield Street.


That, of course, went over like the metric system, leading to plaintive articles such as this Business section piece last month in the Boston Globe.

Five Things You Should Know About the Citgo Sign

The fate of the Citgo sign is once again the talk of the town. From its perch high above Kenmore Square, the illuminated sign has been an integral part of Boston’s skyline for decades, but now faces an uncertain future as Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 4.15.26 PMBoston University tries to sell the building below it. What will happen when the property at 660 Beacon St. changes hands and a new landlord takes over? That remains to be seen. For now, the Citgo sign still shines brightly.

Here are five things you may not know about this familiar landmark.

1 It has a long history. The roots of the sign go back to 1940, when the Cities Service Co. opened a divisional office at 660 Beacon St. and installed a huge neon sign on the roof of the building . . .


And etc.

Now the Citgo sign is back in the Globe, but in advertising form on page A3 of yesterday’s edition.


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Close-up view:


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The ads come from Boston’s Sign (not to be confused with Boston Sign, whose website does not include the Citgo sign). The ad does steer readers to #CITGOsign, which features tweets like these from WCVB’s Maria Stephanos and others.


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But . . .

The hardsearching staff has so far been unable to determine who’s behind the Globe ads. We’ll make some phone calls today and keep you posted.

Boston Globe Eats Herald’s Dust on IndyCar Coverage

April 24, 2016

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

Once again the Boston Globe has slipstreamed the Boston Herald’s coverage of the sputtering Grand Prix of Boston, which hopes to take place this Labor Day weekend.

Joe Battenfeld’s Friday Herald piece:

Race Hits Roadblock

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In another potentially serious setback to the Boston Grand Prix, a little-known city commission has blocked IndyCar race promoters from building parts of the course because of new climate change rules that require them to get a wetlands permit.

The 4-1 vote by the city’s Conservation Commission is the latest unexpected roadblock to the race, which has faced tough scrutiny from residents and a monthslong review from the city and state that put the Labor Day event in jeopardy.


Evan Allen and Jon Chesto’s Saturday Globe piece:

Conservation panel says Grand Prix needs more permits

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Friday that he is optimistic IndyCar race organizers would be able to hold their event in South Boston in September, despite new environmental concerns raised by the Boston Conservation Commission.

“I’m hoping to see it here Labor Day weekend,” Walsh told reporters at a morning event. “I think there’s a process now they can follow, and I think they have to follow that process and make their case.”

In a 4-to-1 vote this week, the commission, which has responsibility for protecting wetlands in the city, concluded that the route planned for the race travels through a 100-year flood zone, and that organizers had to apply for permits that consider the potential environmental impact of any construction.


Nowhere does the Globe piece acknowledge that the Herald drove there first.

And this isn’t the only time the lately local broadsheet has drafted off the firsty local tabloid.

C’mon, Globeniks: Be a mensch, eh?

IBEW = Invisible Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

April 18, 2016

And CWA = Communications Wankers of America.

At least that’s how it looks in the local dailies. For the past week Verizon has been running this one-two punch of full-page ads in the Boston Globe (but, of course, not the Herald).


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Actually, there’s plenty to strike about according to two labor unions involved (and this Verizon worker – the Dickensian-named Jazmin Sypher – in a Guardian op-ed) but you’d never know it from the Communications Workers of America or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Hey, nudniks: At least run a couple of ads in the Boston Herald, eh? Those are your peeps at the thirsty local tabloid.

Fake Front Page Takes Its Toles on Boston Globe

April 15, 2016

Last Sunday’s Trumpocalypse fake front page bought the Boston Globe plenty of buzz and grief, including in this space.

But it also produced this Tom Toles editorial cartoon, which the Globe happily ran yesterday on its op-ed page.


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Nice to have friends in the cartoon-industrial complex, yeah?

Marty Walsh Makes #OneBostonDay #OneDailyDay

April 15, 2016

The City of Boston ran this full-page ad in today’s Boston Globe.


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But not in the Boston Herald.

Regardless, the thirsty local tabloid ran this editorial marking One Boston Day . . .


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. . . and this Jerry Holbert cartoon.


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But, really, Marty Walsh: What the hell?

Verizon Workers at a DisADvantage in Union Dustup

April 15, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, telecom giant Verizon has been wallpapering the Boston Globe (but not the Boston Herald) with this full-page ad questioning why union workers are striking over cuts in healthcare and pension benefits.


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Yesterday, Verizon doubled down with two ads in the $tately local broadsheet: The one above, and this one.


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And the response from the striking Communications Workers of America/International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers?


Same today: Verizon two ads, workers none.


For Once Boston Globe Says ‘Suffolk U’ to the Herald

April 14, 2016

Ever since the Margaret McKenna/George Regan rumpus at Suffolk University began several months ago, the Boston Herald – especially columnist Joe Battenfeld – has been out front on virtually every development in the serial dustup. But today’s Boston Globe beats the firsty local tabloid – twice – on the latest mishegoss at Day Hop U.

Start off with this Metro Page One report from Laura Krantz.

Suffolk beset by renewed tension

Storms swirl on accreditation, board of trustees, McKenna

Two months after Suffolk University trustees and president Margaret McKenna reached a truce that seemed to smooth their splintered relationship, a cloud of discord is still looming over the downtown college.Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 4.29.18 PM

A series of recent events raises new questions about the future of the besieged school, and about how long McKenna will lead it.

The college’s board of trustees has hired two attorneys to address personal and professional allegations against McKenna by public relations executive George Regan, who has threatened to sue Suffolk after it canceled his firm’s contract.

In addition, the school faces renewed scrutiny from accreditors, and professors say morale has plummeted.


In other words, it’s a mess.

But Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham does her best to stick a smiley face on “the besieged school.”

A plea from Suffolk

You’ve been admitted to Suffolk University, in the heart of beautiful downtown Boston. You’re going to love it here, should you choose to join the class of 2020. And we sure hope you do, since we need your tuition payments to keep us alive.

We have super courses in psychology, political science, marketing, and law, to name a few. There are three libraries and a campus in Madrid. And sparkling new buildings, all steps from the famous Frog Pond.

Please, choose us! And please, pay no mind to the grown-ups acting like vindictive children here on Tremont Street. They just run the place. Nothing to worry about.


It just gets snarkier from there, especially about George Regan.

Oh, and here Regan is . . . this week in Commonwealth Magazine, pictured with his adorable dog, making the spurious claim that the board didn’t really want to hire McKenna, saying “that woman” — don’t worry, female freshmen, we’re so enlightened — “has no right being the leader.”



Crosstown at the Herald, meanwhile, all’s quiet on the Suffolk front today. We’re assuming that changes tomorrow.