Is Herb Chambers Driving Boston Globe Auto Section?

October 29, 2019

After the hardreading staff noted the Boston Globe’s ads-in-sheep’s-clothing inserts that have appeared in the paper the past two weeks, sharp-eyed reader Mark Laurence posted this comment.

How about the Boston Globe Auto section on Saturday and Sunday? The top half of the front page always has a glowing review of a new vehicle, in normal Globe typeface. The bottom half is always an ad from Herb Chambers selling that same vehicle. Yesterday it wasn’t even labeled as an advertising section.

 

Not to get technical about it, Mark, but it’s not really an advertising section. Seems more like an ad-liance.

It can hardly be a coincidence that on four of the past seven Sundays, a Herb Chambers ad below the fold offered the vehicle featured above it.

Representative sample: On October 20, Page One of the Globe’s Sunday Autos section contained an August 24 review of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator by the Detroit Free Press’s Mark Phelan.

 

 

As you can see, the featured vehicle in the ad is the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Similar combos occurred on September 15, September 29, and October 27. Interestingly, the September 29th review spotlighted . . . the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Herb must have a bunch of those sitting on the lot.

The question, of course, is this: Does the Globe give Chambers a heads-up on what review is running each Sunday, or does Chambers get to call the car? The harddriving staff would hate to think it’s the latter.