FREE FORM ADS (check one out just a couple of posts down from here) are becoming more common. And some advertisers seem to prefer them—because they see the impact their design (there’s that word again!) has on the page.
Most newsroom purists, of course, will gasp whenever they see one. At the LA Times recently, the news staff circulated a petition claiming a free form ad on page 1 had “caused incalculable damage to this instition.” Perhaps the damage is perceived more because the ad was dressed to look like a news story.
But free form ads that are clearly advertising: Are they a danger? Do they cross any ethical lines? Or are they just another opportunity for us to make a few bucks in a weak economy?
What are your thoughts? Take the poll below.
And, while you’re at it, please vote in the poll on newspaper contests: Are they worth it? Just a waste of time?
I JUST DIDN’T HAVE THE HEART to tell you this during the Glorious Fourth weekend:
The Whitney Houston performance of the National Anthem that I kept at the top of the blog all weekend was…lip-synced. That comes from Joe E. Baker, Editor/Publisher of The Karnes Countywide in Karnes City, TX.
Here’s Joe’s note, from Thursday of last week:
“I hate to rain on your parade, but did you know Whitney’s performance was lip-synced?
She wasn’t singing live, just mouthing the words to a pre-recorded track.
I didn’t find out about it till recently, and it changed the way I think about that performance now. Apparently they do most of these performances this way. I guess what bothers me is the deception. I think the network should let viewers know that what they are hearing is a pre-recorded audio track.
Thanks so much for your blog and articles. Reading these has really greatly enhanced the design of our newspaper!
Hope you have a great 4th of July!”
At first, I wanted to challenge Joe. I didn’t want to believe it. But I did my homework and…Joe is right. As he says, “Apparently, they do most of these performances this way.”
Lip-synced or not, it’s still a great performance. And I’m already thinking of posting it again next year.