Friday, April 24, 2015

The Unarticle

(C) 2015 Luke T.Bush


At first glance the full page spread appears to be a news article.  After all it says SPECIAL REPORT.

But it's really an ad formatted to have the semblance of a news story.  In the past the Press-Republican would include an important detail at the top of the page with such ads to alert unwary readers to what was being presented. For example:

Click on the image below to open up a larger version of the ad.  Check it out from top to bottom. Do you see PAID ADVERTISEMENT anywhere?

Please excuse the quality of the copy I photographed.  Maybe the advertiser's facial cream could fix it since the product is so amazing.

Of course ads like this do include a disclaimer but at the bottom of the page in smaller print.

Compensated testimonials?  I thought the gold standard in advertising was uncompensated testimonials.  Such testimonials imply the quotee was unbiased, the opinion being given was in no way influenced by filthy lucre.

But apparently the Press-Republican needs the filthy lucre from any advertiser. To its credit the PR added the PAID ADVERTISEMENT notice until this latest ad.

Remember: the Press-Republican has stated in the past that it always works toward the gold standard of journalistic excellence.

Of course with newspapers individual results may vary.

1 comment:

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Considering how cable television stations have been supplementing their finances with "snake oil" infomercials for a good couple decades or so
...and how prevalent such commercials are on modern-day talk radio...

It's not really surprising to find major newspapers doing the same in our "rag-tag" modern-day societies.

Integrity and professionalism are pretty much anachronisms.
Not that there weren't always gimmicks and "little white lies" in product advertisements.
It's just that nowadays it's so shamelessly ubiquitous and excessive.