May 29, 2017
As the hardreading staff perused yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe, we happened upon this full-page A3 ad.
That called to mind the Globe’s recent Page One piece about Total Wine’s “total war against alcohol regulations.”
Total Wine uncorks new front in its war on rules
Big-box alcohol retailer targets Mass. regulations
Total Wine & More is waging total war on the nation’s alcohol laws — and Massachusetts is the new front line.
The largest retailer of beer, wine, and liquor in the country, Total Wine has successfully challenged longstanding alcohol laws in numerous states, tilting the marketplace to its advantage through a mix of litigation, lobbying, and rallying support from customers . . .
In Massachusetts, Total Wine has sued to invalidate a state regulation that prevents retailers from selling alcohol below cost, a common practice in other industries. The company is also about to launch a public relations campaign here challenging a state rule prohibiting alcohol retailers from issuing discount coupons and loyalty cards. It has submitted the proposed changes to a task force convened by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to streamline the state’s alcohol laws.
Here’s the interesting part: Nowhere in the Globe piece is there any mention of the tens of thousands of dollars the $tately local broadsheet has raked in from Total Wine ads over the past few months.
That’s very much like the Globe’s recent non-disclosure of its financial interest while covering the rumpus over the fabled Citgo sign; the paper raked in more than a hundred thousand dollars in ads touting the Kenmore Square icon but never mentioned them in their coverage.
Memo to Globe editor Brian McGrory: We know you need the advertising revenue. But c’mon – at least be honest about it.
March 17, 2017
As the hardreading staff has noted in vain for the past year, the Boston Globe has reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in Save the Citgo Sign ads. But its coverage of the rumpus over the Kenmore Square icon has never disclosed the paper’s financial interest in the outcome.
Exhibit Umpteen: Today’s Business section story by Jon Chesto about Boston Signage Syndrome.
On Boston’s skyline, signs can be a tricky business
Jeff Immelt wanted a headquarters sign that could be seen from Mars.
Or at least that’s what the General Electric CEO jokingly told a crowd of local business leaders when he came to Boston a year ago to celebrate the company’s decision to relocate here.
Good luck with that, Jeff. The Boston Planning & Development Agency is reviewing the company’s new sign as part of broader construction plans for its future Fort Point office, and the rooftop logo will have more earthly dimensions, maybe 35 feet in diameter.
Still, the approval of a tower sign in Boston remains a rare gift, one bestowed upon a select few.
Among them – yes – the Globe’s own gas light.
The Citgo sign in Kenmore Square probably would never get approved today, and yet it has become a beloved landmark, one that Walsh helped save this week by refereeing lease negotiations.
Still, no disclosure.
Hey, Boston media watchers – don’t any of you want a piece of this?
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?
March 6, 2017
From yesterday’s $tately local broadsheet:
As the hardreading staff has dutifully noted for the past year, the Boston Globe has entirely omitted from its extensive coverage of the Citgo sign rumpus any mention that the paper has gleaned at least $25,000 from Save the Sign ads like this one.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, $25,000 is lunch money at the John Henry Gazette, but it’s lunch money the paper should disclose whenever it moans about the Citgo sign’s ultimate fate.
(To be clear graf goes here)
To be clear, it’s not the fault of Globe reporter Tim Logan that his many Citgo sign pieces have lacked disclosure. The fault lies with the Globe’s editors.
Regardless, given the latest assault on the Kenmore Square icon, it’s not unreasonable to expect there will be more ads forthcoming from the Boston’s Sign campaign. Oh, wait – like this full-page ad that coincidentally appeared in yesterday’s Globe.
Here’s something else that’s not unreasonable: To expect the Globe to disclose its financial interest in the Citgo sign whenever the paper covers that story.
But don’t hold your breath.
November 10, 2016
Is there anything that is not for sale at the $tately local broadsheet?
The hardreading staff has chronicled many a money-making scheme at the Globe over the past several years, from double-dipping on the Prouty Garden dustup at Boston Children’s Hospital to Garden-variety promotion for Delaware North/Boston Properties real estate developments to the Globe’s Citgo sign conflict of interest.
Then there was this in yesterday’s Election Hangover edition of the paper.
Apparently, the Globe is willing to slap an advertiser’s logo on virtually any piece of editorial content. (See also how Suffolk University and Steward Health Care colonized the Globe’s Capital section a while back.)
But . . . Herb Chambers? On an electoral map? What – we’re supposed to drive across the border before president-elect Donald J. Trump gets a chance to wall us in?
Then again, don’t look for logic from the Globe nowadays. Just logos.