Pick One: Boston Globe Majors in (U)Mass Marketing or, Boston Globe Pimps Out Page One

November 13, 2014

The Boston Globe is having quite a financial fling with the University of Massachusetts these days. First it was this “Special Supplement to the Boston Globe” that ran this past Sunday.

 

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As the hardreading staff noted, that’s “Special” as in “Advertising,” which the Globe would have stated explicitly if it cared to be honest with its readers.

Now comes this doozie in today’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet (photos courtesy of the Missus).

 

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That was followed by this:

 

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Along with this:

 

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And this:

 

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At least they labeled the wraparound “Advertisement,” eh? But it’s the leasing out of the Globe banner that’s the problem here. Funny thing is, ten years ago the Globe rejected that kind of sellout. From the January 19, 2004 Boston Business Journal:

Globe rejected a front-page advertisement for JetBlue

The Boston Globe apparently rejected a proposal by JetBlue Airways Corp. to run the same full front-page advertisement touting the airline’s arrival at Logan International Airport that the Boston Herald published last week amid voluble criticism.
The Boston Herald ended up running the ad on Jan. 7, catching considerable flak for accepting an ad that one source valued at least at $25,000. But a JetBlue official told the Boston Business Journal that the Globe also was approached with the same opportunity.

 

And turned it down, sort of.

Globe spokesman B. Maynard Scarborough said he believed the newspaper’s advertising department discussed selling a “wrap” to JetBlue, but no deal was reached. Such a wrap would not have contained mock editorial content, he said, adding the Globe does not sell Page 1 advertising and has no plans to do so.

 

Well, that’s now “inoperative,” as they say.

Here’s what the Herald did run (via WBUR’s Bob Oakes).

 

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That’s the actual front page on the left, the ad front page on the right.

And while we’re tripping down Memory Lane with local journos, here’s what the redoubtable Dan Kennedy wrote in the Boston Phoenix Media Log back then:

[A]t the very least, the front should have been prominently labeled as an ad. This isn’t just a violation of the traditional wall separating business and editorial – this is an out-and-out demolition.

 

Today at Media Nation, Dan wrote this: “If the Globe hasn’t crossed a line, perhaps it has moved the line past where we always thought it was.”

Fair enough. But to us, they did cross the line.

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