Boston Globe Editorial That Looks Like Advertising

January 29, 2016

First in what we think might be a long-running series

Did the Boston Globe just reprint a Delaware North/Boston Properties press release?

From yesterday’s mately local broadsheet:

 

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Close-up of the un-bylined piece:

 

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Text from the “Globe Staff”:

Boston Properties and Delaware North Wednesday officially launched construction of a massive new complex on Causeway Street in front of TD Garden and North Station. Dubbed, “The Hub on Causeway,” the first phase of the complex underway will include a new grocery store from Star Market, a 15-screen movie theater from ArcLight Cinema, office space, and underground parking.

The first phase is to open in late 2018.

Additional phases would bring a 38-story residential tower, and two shorter towers for offices and a hotel.

The developers are also building a new entrance to North Station as well as an underground connection between the train and subway stations.

 

Sure sounds like a press release to us.

That reminded the hardstashing staff of a post we uncharacteristically held off publishing several weeks ago:

When its home delivery isn’t going Chernobyl, the Boston Globe has been all about advertising partnerships lately. So you’ll excuse us if we wonder about this piece in [the January 3rd] Address section of the $tately local broadsheet.

 

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Up close:

 

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The hardcounting staff tallies the plugs (and potential advertisers) thusly:

Heidi Pribell/Pribell Interiors: 5

Medusa Studio: 1

Visual Comfort: 1

Osborne and Little: 1

Oly: 1

Global Views: 1

Bernhardt: 1

Ballard Designs: 1

 

Maybe nothing will come of this. Maybe something will. We’ll keep an eye out.

[Full disclosure: In truth, we’ve been less than vigilant in tracking the potential advertisers above. We’ll try to do better in the future.]

But Delaware North/Boston Properties?

That’s a done deal.

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Boston Globe Not Wholly Owned Subsidiary of UMass

March 23, 2015

Over the past months, the hardreading staff has repeatedly noted the increasing presence of lucrative – and corrosive –  advertising by the University of Massachusetts in the Boston Globe, from co-opting the paper’s front page to bugging its banners to mimicking its editorial content.

But then came this from yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe:

 

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It’s a tough piece that raises tough questions about the fiscal fitness of UMass.

(To be sure graf goes here.)

To be sure, the hardreading staff never said the Globe was in the tank for UMass. We just questioned the appearance of so many financial ties between the stately local broadsheet and the state’s higher-education system. Those ties didn’t seem to matter in yesterday’s instance.

So, to recap: UMass 3, Boston Globe 1.

The hardscoring staff will keep you posted.

P.S. Undaunted, UMass ran this full-page ad in yesterday’s Globe.

 

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Here for a reason indeed: To outshout any editorial coverage of UMass in the Globe. That’s show biz, eh?


Boston Globe’s Capital Withdrawal

February 27, 2015

Well the hardreading staff was leafing through the Boston Globe this morning and here’s what we found on Metro Page One:

 

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Sure enough, the former stand-alone section occupied all of four Metro pages that featured – Motheragawd! – exactly zero ads. As one splendid reader pointed out to us, the mainstay of the old Capital’s ad pages – Steward Health Care System – had drifted over to the Business section, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of UMass. Granted, UMass still has the bug that keeps on bugging nestled in the Business banner, but Steward owns the bottom of the page.

 

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Should be fun to watch the Steward-UMass slap fight in the stately local broadsheet. At least until 2016, when – who knows – Capital might stand on its own two feet again.


Boston Globe Goes Full Money – er, Monty – for UMass

February 20, 2015

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the Boston Globe and UMass are likethis lately.

Pick One: Boston Globe Majors in (U)Mass Marketing or, Boston Globe Pimps Out Page One

The Boston Globe is having quite a financial fling with the University of Massachusetts these days. First it was this “Special Supplement to the Boston Globe” that ran [last fall].

 

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As the hardreading staff noted, that’s “Special” as in “Advertising,” which the Globe would have stated explicitly if it cared to be honest with its readers.

Now comes this doozie in [the 11/13/14] edition of the $tately local broadsheet (photos courtesy of the Missus).

 

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Okay then. That was last fall, when UMass bought the Boston Globe for a day.

Now comes this trifecta in yesterday’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet.

First, the Business section banner:

 

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Then, the bottom of Page One:

 

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Then, the back page:

 

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That pretty much makes yesterday’s Globe Business section a wholly owned subsidiary of UMass.

Ugh.


New School of Advertising: UMass Boston(Globe)

December 18, 2014

As we’ve previously noted, the Boston Globe has been rather – how shall we put it? – ad-aptable lately with UMass, from a special supplement masquerading as editorial content to, most notably, the pimping out of the Globe banner last month.

A splendid reader now sends this to the tsktsking staff:

[H]ave you noticed recently the UMass-Branded Business section in the Globe? I know they’re doing a lot (a lot!) of advertising in the Globe, but the UMass logo placement next to the “Business” banner on the front page of the new section makes it seem almost like a paid advertising section. I saw it there yesterday, and again today. I believe 2-3 times more in the last 10 days.

 

Here’s the one from today:

 

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The splendid reader is correct: The bug also appeared in yesterday’s edition, as well as last Wednesday through Friday. Oddly, on none of those days did UMass run an actual, old-fashioned ad.

And the splendid reader is likewise correct that the bug makes the Globe’s Business section look like a partly owned subsidiary of the Massachusetts higher ed system.

In fairness, though, the Boston Herald looks like a totally owned subsidiary of Suffolk University. So maybe this is just Business as usual.


Pick One: Boston Globe Majors in (U)Mass Marketing or, Boston Globe Pimps Out Page One

November 13, 2014

The Boston Globe is having quite a financial fling with the University of Massachusetts these days. First it was this “Special Supplement to the Boston Globe” that ran this past Sunday.

 

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As the hardreading staff noted, that’s “Special” as in “Advertising,” which the Globe would have stated explicitly if it cared to be honest with its readers.

Now comes this doozie in today’s edition of the $tately local broadsheet (photos courtesy of the Missus).

 

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That was followed by this:

 

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Along with this:

 

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And this:

 

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At least they labeled the wraparound “Advertisement,” eh? But it’s the leasing out of the Globe banner that’s the problem here. Funny thing is, ten years ago the Globe rejected that kind of sellout. From the January 19, 2004 Boston Business Journal:

Globe rejected a front-page advertisement for JetBlue

The Boston Globe apparently rejected a proposal by JetBlue Airways Corp. to run the same full front-page advertisement touting the airline’s arrival at Logan International Airport that the Boston Herald published last week amid voluble criticism.
The Boston Herald ended up running the ad on Jan. 7, catching considerable flak for accepting an ad that one source valued at least at $25,000. But a JetBlue official told the Boston Business Journal that the Globe also was approached with the same opportunity.

 

And turned it down, sort of.

Globe spokesman B. Maynard Scarborough said he believed the newspaper’s advertising department discussed selling a “wrap” to JetBlue, but no deal was reached. Such a wrap would not have contained mock editorial content, he said, adding the Globe does not sell Page 1 advertising and has no plans to do so.

 

Well, that’s now “inoperative,” as they say.

Here’s what the Herald did run (via WBUR’s Bob Oakes).

 

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That’s the actual front page on the left, the ad front page on the right.

And while we’re tripping down Memory Lane with local journos, here’s what the redoubtable Dan Kennedy wrote in the Boston Phoenix Media Log back then:

[A]t the very least, the front should have been prominently labeled as an ad. This isn’t just a violation of the traditional wall separating business and editorial – this is an out-and-out demolition.

 

Today at Media Nation, Dan wrote this: “If the Globe hasn’t crossed a line, perhaps it has moved the line past where we always thought it was.”

Fair enough. But to us, they did cross the line.