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.
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.
June 1, 2017
Stop the presses! The Boston Herald has gone native again!
As the hardtsking staff has previously noted, the sneaky local tabloid has occasionally dabbled in native advertising in its print edition, but now the ads in sheep’s clothing seem to be appearing with greater frequency.
Last week there was this full-page marketing massage “presented by Primark.”
Today there’s this puffery, “presented by The Lawn on D powered by Citizens Bank” – a twofer.
Both writers – Brett Milano and Miriam Schwartz – appear to be freelancers, although a piece she wrote last year referred to her as “the Herald’s Miriam Schwartz.” (Both, interestingly, also share the link bostonherald.com/users – which sort of feels backward given what the stingy local tabloid pays for freelance work.)
Anyway, that’s not as egregious as using staff reporters to produce advertising content, but even so . . .
C’mon, Heraldniks – at least have to decency to get actual copywriters to produce this stuff.
May 8, 2017
As the hardreading staff has previously noted, we’re one of roughly 17 home subscribers to the Boston Herald, which means that virtually all of the feisty local tabloid’s dwindling print circulation comes from newsstand sales.
So it’s no surprise that this Notice appeared on page 2 of today’s edition. (Note the reverse typeface, which is harder to read, especially for us elderly folk.)
Close-up (sort of):
The sneaky local tabloid does say that the price increase “will not affect home-delivered copies of the Boston Herald,” which has up to tens of subscribers issuing a sigh of relief.
Still, that’s a one-third newsstand hike from Saturday . . .
. . . to today.
Which means the pricey local tabloid now costs the same as the Boston Globe.
The Herald’s newsstand price is also now double that of the New York tabloids, which, to be fair, are constantly waging price wars. Rising above the fray, the New York Times newsstand price is $2.50.
Two and a half times more for the broadsheet? That seems closer to the natural order of things, no?
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.)
Even closer up, the disclosure is pretty minimal.
That’s clearly a step down from the Herald’s previous perfunctory labeling.
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.