Boston Herald Auctions Off More Editorial Content

October 10, 2018

As the hardreading staff has noted on numerous occasions, the Boston Herald has routinely employed its kissin’ cousin, Boston Herald Radio, as a launching pad for stealth marketing. The digital broadcast platform, which boasts up to several listeners daily, is a convenient venue to interview advertisers, providing content that the Herald has reprinted with diminishing disclosure.

Representative sample from earlier this year:

 

 

It’s no accident that you can barely read the “Sponsored Content” disclaimer at the top of the page. That’s how stealth marketing works best.

Now, however, the sneaky local tabloid has gone one step further with its ads in sheep’s clothing, as evidenced by page 3 of today’s edition.

 

 

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, both sides of that page are advertisements, despite this attempt to make the left-hand side seem just like  a regular interview.

The Center for Wellbeing clinical director Dr. Jeffrey Donatello joined Boston Herald Radio’s “The Rundown” program yesterday to talk about his company’s use of stem cells in Portsmouth, N.H., to help with arthritis. Here are excerpts . . .

 

Uh-huh.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, the web version of the adterview is labeled “Sponsored Content.”

 

 

But that doesn’t excuse the lack of disclosure in the print edition, which a lot more people will see.

Moral of the story: When it comes to the stealthy local tabloid, caveat reader.

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Boston Globe Joins Herald in Running Sneak Adtacks

February 5, 2018

As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Herald has of late increased the amount of its “sponsored content” while decreasing the legibility of its disclosure.

Now the Boston Globe apparently wants to join the stealthy local tabloid in profiting from ads in sheep’s clothing, running this on A12 of today’s edition. (Here’s the digital version on the Globe website.)

 

 

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, sharp-eyed observers will pick up that it’s actually an ad, but not everyone is as perceptive as you, splendid reader. For some, anything with a headline and a byline qualifies as editorial content. Which is exactly what stealth marketing counts on.

Regardless, we’re guessing that the revenue-impaired Globe and the bankrupt Herald will increasingly turn toward this sleight-of-ad as time goes on.

We hope, of course, to be proven wrong.


Boston Herald Plants Advertising Deeper Into News

February 3, 2018

The sneaky local tabloid just keeps getting sneakier.

As the hardreading staff has noted on multiple occasions, the Boston Herald’s publication of stealth marketing (a.k.a. “sponsored content”) has steadily become more and more – ah – stealthy, as the labeling of same grows smaller and smaller.

(Pop quiz: Is that an oxymoron, or are we?)

For example, here’s how sponsored content for intimate apparel retailer Rigby & Peller was labeled in March of 2016.

 

 

Then there’s this advertorial for the Massachusetts State Lottery from a year ago.

 

 

And now comes this from yesterday’s edition of the stealthy local tabloid. (Inexplicable Little Green 1 at no extra charge.)

 

 

Do we detect a pattern emerging here?

All of those ads in sheep’s clothing originated in interviews on Boston Herald Radio, which has up to several listeners but which more importantly provides the Herald with a steady stream of stealth marketing opportunities.

Given the Local Dailies DisADvantage the thirsty local tabloid labors under, that just might be the best it can do.


Boston Herald Shrinks Re: Stealth Marketing Disclose

February 3, 2017

As the hardreading staff has noted previously, the Boston Herald has never been overfastidious about distinctions between marketing and news. But the stealthy local tabloid has just gotten one level sneakier.

Today’s edition features this page topped by “sponsored content” touting special Massachusetts Lottery scratch tickets for the Patriots and other New England sports teams. (Inexplicable Little Green Number sold separately.)

 

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Even closer up, the disclosure is pretty minimal.

 

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That’s clearly a step down from the Herald’s previous perfunctory labeling.

 

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Of course, native advertising works best when it labels itself least. The more you think it’s editorial content, the better for the marketer.

And the better for the sneaky local tabloid too.


How a Two-Daily Town Works (Tito Jackson Edition)

January 2, 2017

Anatomy of a Local News Cycle

On Thursday, this Meghan E. Irons piece appeared on BostonGlobe.com.

In year-end note, Jackson makes his case to Boston

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City Councilor Tito Jackson, who is considering a run for mayor, has posted a polished, well-laid-out case for himself on social media, articulating his 2016 accomplishments.

The message, complete with glossy pictures of the councilor talking to students, rallying crowds, and holding a bullhorn at City Hall, was not specifically addressed to residents in District 7, which he has represented since 2011. Instead it was directed at the entire city.

“Dear Boston,’’ reads Jackson’s message, which appears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It has been an eventful year for us all.”

 

With possibly an even more eventful one to come, if Jackson takes on Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

Then, as surely as day follows night, here came Friday’s Boston Herald, Page One.

 

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The story inside:

More signs Tito to take on Marty

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Operatives working for City Councilor Tito Jackson have registered the website titojacksonformayor.com and have drafted the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, further proof the Roxbury pol is gearing up to take on Mayor Martin J. Walsh next year.

Jackson also just posted a flashy “Dear Boston” online message to supporters citywide — pushed out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — outlining what could be his platform for running for mayor . . .

Jackson, the District 7 councilor, has said he’s considering a challenge to Walsh and has increased his campaign fundraising and spending over the past several months.

 

Great sidebar: Bill Hyers, the aforementioned campaign manager for Bill de Blasio, is a partner at the political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions.

But . . .

Hyers is officially “moonlighting” for Jackson, since Hilltop’s New England office is “firmly in Walsh’s camp for the upcoming election,” according to the Herald.

Bring a food taster to their next office party, eh?

(Other Tito takes in Friday’s pushy local tabloid: A sidebar headlined From the ‘Dear Boston’ letter, and Hillary Chabot’s column Trump could give councilor a boost.)

Follow-up on the Tito Watch in Friday’s Globe: Uh . . . no.

So . . .  on to Saturday’s editions.

Once again the Herald was on Tito like Brown on Williamson, devoting all of page 5 to teeing Tito up (Inexplicable Little Green Numbers sold separately).

 

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Crosstown at Saturday’s Globe: Still no.

So . . . on to Sunday’s editions.

The fading local tabloid featured only this 2017 prediction in a column by Boston Herald Radio yakker John Sapochetti.

• Mayor Martin J. Walsh will narrowly win his re-election bid over Tito Jackson.

 

Crosstown at Sunday’s Globe: Even more no.

So . . . today’s editions.

Tito stories in toto: Zero.

See ya next cycle.


Is Adriana ‘Cohen Away’ from the Boston Herald?

December 6, 2016

Sharp-eyed readers of the feisty local tabloid might have noticed a few changes this week at Boston Herald Radio.

First, though, here’s what the lineup looked like as recently as last Friday.

 

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And here’s the new one.

 

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The change that jumped out at the hardreading staff was the shifting of Herald columnist Adriana Cohen from the daily 6 to 9 morning slot to an hourlong Wednesday gig at noon.

As Ernie Boch Jr. might say, step on down!

But the more we thought about it, the more we started to wonder if this might be a transitional move while Cohen waits for a spot in the Trump administration.

After all, Yo Adriana was one of the most reliable of Trumpkins during the 2016 presidential campaign, although she tragically failed to make The Daily Beast’s All-Star roster of “The Donald’s Army of Media-Hungry Cable News Boosters.”

Which doesn’t seem right since Cohen was willing to do stuff like this (starting around 1:22):

 

 

But that kind of smashmouth politics is just what Trump tends to reward, so don’t be surprised if Cohen drifts down to D.C. sometime after the first of the year.

(Hey – maybe she and Trump coatholder Howie Carr could room together!)


Boston Herald Joins Globe in Editorial Bake Sale

December 18, 2015

As the hardreading staff has noted in detail, the Boston Globe has of late been leasing out editorial content to paymates of various stripes, from Rockland Trust to Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System.

And now, not surprisingly, the stealthy local tabloid wants in on the auction – in this case via Boston Herald Radio, the streaming audio service that up to dozens of people listen to.

Today’s Herald, page 17:

 

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Upper right:

 

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The frosty (cashword) local tabloid has often run excerpts from BHR interviews alongside its daily promotional ad. But this is the first time the interview is “Sponsored Content” – that is to say, an ad itself.

We get it that newspapers have to come up with creative ways to generate revenue, which is one reason all this sponsored content is suddenly popping up.

We’re just wondering if there’s any bottom to that well.