Boston.com(merce) Shmushes Advertising & Editorial

June 7, 2017

From our State of the Cuisinart Marketing desk

In response to the hardreading staff’s post the other day about the Boston Herald auctioning off its editorial content to advertisers (and in the process conscripting its freelance writers into some sort of lend-lease program), splendid reader MM sent us this.

 

 

The Boston.com article in question: 

15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this June

From Kiss Concert to Dead & Company, Hall & Oates to Megadeth.

An annual summer pop staple and pioneering jam band at Fenway are just two great music events hitting Boston in June.

Guitar gods

Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Flamenco guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela is celebrating 10 years of performing together with a U.S. tour that will stop in Boston. The Mexico City natives are acoustic guitar virtuosos, and bring intricate soloing and and an unrivaled dynamic to a genre that’s not often given the spotlight. The two have collaborated with many famous composers and have even performed at the White House for President Barack Obama. (Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues; $39.50-$59.50; all ages; tickets available here)

 

And etc. – for 14 more events.

Every tickets available here links to a ticket-buying site such as the House of Blues or MLB.com or AXS.com.

And what MM points out as “the italicized line at the end”?

Boston.com will receive payment if a purchase is made through the article.

 

As MM notes, that might be the first such partnership for Boston.com, but it’s emblematic of the monetizing efforts newspaper companies like Boston Globe Media are scrambling to initiate as they battle dwindling circulation numbers and plummeting ad revenues.

(The New York Times Co. has been the hands-down leader in this mash for cash, as our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have dutifully chronicled.)

But Globe Media has been ramping up the money chase as well. In addition to the Boston.commerce gambit, there’s the Globe Live storytelling event last month, the ongoing Boston Globe Travel Show, and who knows what else to come.

(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, the hardrooting staff is all for anything that keeps newspapers alive and well – and keeps the separation between advertising and editorial alive and well at the same time.

‘Nuf sed.


If It Isn’t Dreck, It Isn’t Legal

July 25, 2016

As our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have noted, virtually every ad campaign for Legal Sea Foods over the past several years has been equal parts puerile and unfunny. But the current Berkowitz for President effort stands out for its excessively bad taste.

Back in March, there was this ad that drew protests from numerous quarters.

 

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Last week the big guffaws came from the size of Donald Trump’s hands. Now comes this full-page ad in today’s Boston dailies.

 

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Note that once again the Boston Herald has marked this “Advertisement,” and once again the Globe has not. Who ever imagined the thirsty local tabloid would be more fastidious than the $tately local broadsheet?

Regardless, Roger Berkowitz is getting hustled by his fancy-pants New York ad agency, DeVito/Verdi. In this case, he’s the fish.


Legal Sea Foods Is Getting Scrod by Its Ad Agency

July 18, 2016

As the hardreading staff has noted, ever since Roger Berkowitz hired New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi, Legal Sea Food’s advertising has largely been in bad taste – a little bit flashy, a little bit trashy. (Our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have noted the same.)

Back in March DeVito came up with the breakthrough concept of having Berkowitz run for president, employing the theme Feel the Berk. (Sure, lots of ads have featured fake political campaigns, but none of them involved Berkowitz.)

Representative samples:

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Today came the latest installment, which ran in both Boston dailies.

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Interestingly, the Herald ad (above) is labeled “Advertisement” – four times – while the Globe version is unlabeled. That says something about either the Herald editors or the paper’s readers. Or, possibly, both.

Regardless, one more piece of carp from the local fish house chain.


If It Isn’t Frosh, It Isn’t Legal

March 3, 2016

As the hardworking staff at our kissing’ cousin Campaign Outsider has dutifully noted, Legal Sea Foods owner Roger Brokowitz – sorry, Berkowitz – is pretty much as tasteless as his menu when it comes to advertising his fish houses.

Exhibit Umpteen: The latest Legal Sea Foods ad campaign, which enjoyed some Boston Globe $ynergy on Tuesday, and featured this full-page ad in the $tately local broadsheet on Wednesday.

 

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The ad in today’s edition of the Globe is downright dumb.

 

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Even dopier are the campaign’s TV spots (see them here), which don’t even rise to the level of sophomoric.

For several years now Berkowitz has relied on trendy New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi to create his advertising, which has drawn widespread criticism.

Maybe it’s time for him to cast his net closer to home.

P.S. Unsurprisingly, the Legal ads have not run in the irony-deficient Boston Herald. Apparently, the readers of the thirsty local tabloid fail to #feelthejerk, er, berk.

Good for them.


Boston City Haul: Plaza Redesign #Umpteen Plus One

June 10, 2015

So how many times has the hardworking staff at our kissin’ cousin Campaign Outsider written about a Boston mayor calling for proposals to redesign City Hall Plaza? At least this many. And they’re sick of the topic over there.

So it falls to the hardreading staff to chronicle the latest chapter in this emptiest of exercises, compliments of today’s Boston Herald.

MARTY: REMAKE THIS PLACE

Calls to designers for new City Hall plan

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s plans to reinvigorate Boston City Hall and City Hall Plaza took another step forward this week with a call for designers interested in creating a master plan and programming for the hulking concrete building and its vast, barren brick-and-concrete outdoor space.

The cost of the master plan is expected to run about $500,000. It follows the mayor’s informal request in March that went outside the design community and used a Twitter campaign to solicit the public’s suggestions for the redesign of the plaza and new potential uses.

 

And etc.

Last Saturday the Boston Globe showcased a sort of interim step – Adirondack-style chairs on the Plaza.

 

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Regardless, it’s still a red-brick barbecue pit in the summer. Here’s hoping this time Walsh cooks up a plan he can actually serve.


Car Dealer Gets Ad-itorial Package from Boston Globe

January 20, 2014

From our What a Coincidence! desk

Several weeks ago the hardworking staff over at Campaign Outsider posted an item headlined Sign o’ the Time: Everything for Sale at Newsweekly, which included this ad from the December 29 Boston Sunday Globe:

 

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Imagine our surprise, then, when we saw this in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe:

Seven things you should know about Ray Ciccolo

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Over the last half century, Village Automotive Group has grown into one of the state’s largest automobile dealers, with more than 400 employees at eight locations. President Ray Ciccolo recently chatted with Globe reporter Erin Ailworth about how it all started. Here’s what she found out:

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Ciccolo was only 24, but he already owned two coin-operated launderettes when he walked into the Gene Brown Rambler/Volvo dealership in Newton Centre looking to buy a “little, fuel efficient” Volkswagen to replace an old Buickhe had rebuilt from junkyard parts. Instead, he listened to a friend working at the dealership. Ciccolo left with a gas-guzzling Lincoln Continental — it got just three miles to the gallon — and plans to purchase the business . . .

 

And etc.

Not to get technical about it, but there are really eight things you should know about Ray Ciccolo.

We’re not saying there was any explicit pay-for-play arrangement here, but it’s hard to believe that a business editor wouldn’t know if an interview subject had run full-page ads in the paper, especially such self-aggrandizing ones. That might give the average editor pause, yes?

Well, in this case, no.

Coals to Newcastle, there’s also this on Page One of today’s Globe Score section.

 

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When Globe owner John Henry gave a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce the other week, he talked about new sponsored sections like Score that would deliver added valued to advertisers. That led the hardreading staff to wonder what exactly Globe sponsors would get .

We’re wondering even more now.

 


Boston Herald: The Fail of the House of Tsarnaev

December 16, 2013

Okay, well not everyone thinks the Boston Globe’s big Sunday takeout – The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev – is Pulitzer prose the way the hardswooning staff at Campaign Outsider does.

From today’s Boston Herald:

‘SICKENING’

Globe’s bomber tales disgust mother of Marathon survivors

The Stoneham mother whose two sons each lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing called “sickening” a nine-page special section in yesterday’s Boston Globe that downplayed Islamic extremism, suggesting the Tsarnaev family’s bad luck, poverty and mental issues had more to do with the plot, while legal experts said BI1E1611.JPGthose claims are likely to figure strongly in any effort to spare surviving accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.

“I hope people don’t fall for this. It’s a joke. There’s no excuse for what those terrorists did,” Liz Norden said of Tsarnaev, 20, and his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed in Watertown in a firefight with police after four people had been murdered and more than 260 others wounded — with numerous amputations.

Both Norden’s sons, JP and Paul, lost their right legs as one of two pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel exploded in Copley Square on April 15.

 

The feisty local tabloid notes that “[a] Globe spokeswoman declined to comment.”  Herald readers, by contrast, are staging a regular Who Struck John in the comments section.

Representative sample:

 

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From there, they were off to the races (123 comments as of this posting).

Check the Herald’s editorial page tomorrow for Chapter Two.