April 22, 2018
As the hardtsking staff has repeatedly noted, the Boston Globe can be a bit loosey-goosey about drawing a sharp line between advertising and editorial content.
So we were less than surprised to find this on Metro B2 today.
On the left are all the charities given donations by the Yawkey Foundation. At lower right is this body copy.
(There’s only sketchy information available about the Connors Family Office, but it’s clearly associated with local macher Jack Connors, who has adamantly opposed the Yawkey Way name change.)
Here’s the thing, though: On no part of the page does the word “advertisement” appear.
And here’s the other thing: Back in the 1960s legendary adman David Ogilvy postulated that 80% of people read only the headline of an ad. Fifty years later, do we think more than one in five read the ad’s body copy?
Fewer is more like it.
Our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider have a long-running series, Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times, in which 1) all the ads look more like ads than the Connors one in today’s Globe, and yet 2) all of them are labeled “Advertisement.”
It’s a good guess that Connors didn’t want to spoil the visual effect by having his ad labeled an ad, but the $tately local broadsheet really should have higher standards than that.
April 16, 2018
One of our splendid readers alerted the hardreading staff to an interesting twofer in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe.
First, this “suspiciously glowing” review of RiverWalk Resort in New Hampshire, which ran on Page One of the Travel section.
Then this full-page ad on page three of the Address section.
Splendid reader asks: “Coincidence?”
Most certainly not, although not in the way you might think. We’re guessing the piece begat the ad, rather than the other way around.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the $tately local broadsheet has played footsie with its advertisers on numerous occasions, as the hardtsking staff has repeatedly noted.
So we’re not saying pay-for-play is entirely out of the question; we just don’t think that’s the case here.
March 12, 2018
As the hardreading staff dolefully noted over the past few years, the Boston Globe’s editorial content has increasingly been playing footsie with marketing partners ranging from Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System to Rockland Trust to the Star Wars franchise.
Now comes Cross Insurance to “present” this page in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe Arts section.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the hardreading staff has seen no Cross Insurance tit-for-tad in the $tately local broadsheet. But there is this sponsored content produced by BG BrandLab, the Globe’s in-house shop for producing ads in sheep’s clothing.
Yes yes – we’re aware that a disclosure line sits atop the website, albeit as inconspicuously as possible.
And if you click on the Information doohickey, this drops down.
Raise your hand if you ever click on that doohickey. Yeah, us neither.
Regardless of the level of transparency, we’re just uneasy overall about attaching financial interests to editorial content.
Never the twain should meet, right?
Or are we just hopelessly out of date?
August 20, 2017
As the hardtsking staff has extensively noted, for several weeks the Boston Globe has let an outfit called Northeast Home & Energy run this ad suggesting the roofing company has some association with the New England Patriots.
Except it doesn’t – a fact that Emily Rooney at WGBH’s Beat the Press passed along on Friday’s edition (around 5:15 of clip).
The upshot: The Pats sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Roof Bros, and here’s what appeared in the Globe yesterday and today.
No Patriots jerseys. No football. No Gillette Stadium.
No consequences for the Roof Bros or the $tately local broadsheet?
August 18, 2017
As the hardtsking staff noted earlier this week, the Boston Globe has been running ads from an outfit called Northeast Home & Energy flaunting a nonexistent New England Patriots connection.
Yesterday, the Globeniks made patsies of the Pats for a third time.
The Roof Bros even have a special welcome on their website for Globe clickers.
Isn’t that special?
Apparently the $tately local broadsheet has no problem with paying customers hijacking a local sports team for fun and profit.
Rumor has it that the fine folks at WGBH’s Beat the Press will tackle this licensing end run on tonight’s episode.
Stay tuned for further details.
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.