April 16, 2018
One of our splendid readers alerted the hardreading staff to an interesting twofer in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe.
First, this “suspiciously glowing” review of RiverWalk Resort in New Hampshire, which ran on Page One of the Travel section.
Then this full-page ad on page three of the Address section.
Splendid reader asks: “Coincidence?”
Most certainly not, although not in the way you might think. We’re guessing the piece begat the ad, rather than the other way around.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the $tately local broadsheet has played footsie with its advertisers on numerous occasions, as the hardtsking staff has repeatedly noted.
So we’re not saying pay-for-play is entirely out of the question; we just don’t think that’s the case here.
March 12, 2018
As the hardreading staff dolefully noted over the past few years, the Boston Globe’s editorial content has increasingly been playing footsie with marketing partners ranging from Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System to Rockland Trust to the Star Wars franchise.
Now comes Cross Insurance to “present” this page in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe Arts section.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the hardreading staff has seen no Cross Insurance tit-for-tad in the $tately local broadsheet. But there is this sponsored content produced by BG BrandLab, the Globe’s in-house shop for producing ads in sheep’s clothing.
Yes yes – we’re aware that a disclosure line sits atop the website, albeit as inconspicuously as possible.
And if you click on the Information doohickey, this drops down.
Raise your hand if you ever click on that doohickey. Yeah, us neither.
Regardless of the level of transparency, we’re just uneasy overall about attaching financial interests to editorial content.
Never the twain should meet, right?
Or are we just hopelessly out of date?
March 13, 2017
As the hardreading staff has relentlessly noted for the past year, the Boston Globe is playing financial footsie with Citgo over the Venezuelan oil company’s quest to obtain landmark status for its iconic Kenmore Square sign.
The $tately local broadsheet has run numerous news reports on the sign’s endangered status and numerous Citgo-purchased ads like this one pleading for the sign’s protection.
(The hardcounting staff previously estimated that Citgo has spent five figures on Globe ads. We’re a moron. It’s probably more like $200,000.)
Saturday’s Globe featured a slightly mixed reaction from readers in the paper’s latest Citgo-no-go editorial offering.
Then, as night follows day, Sunday’s Globe featured this full-throated Citgo ad.
The Globe’s resolute refusal to disclose its financial interest in the Citgo sign rumpus is just one more sign of the paper’s increasingly questionable efforts to generate new revenues.
We totally get the Globe’s need to find new sources of revenue to keep the paper afloat.
What we don’t get is its willingness to risk editorial integrity to achieve that goal.
P.S. Citgo has run exactly zero ads in the Boston Herald so far. Maybe the thirsty local tabloid needs to sign up its newsroom, eh?