• Howard Wolpoff

Ads Matter, But So Does The Message


Placed on top of the page is a coupon sticker, which is a popular advertising option with this paper. This morning's ad was promoting the gun show this weekend, with two prominent guns illustrated on the sticker. Now the advertising director and the editor in chief had a decision to make. Do they honor the contract with the advertiser and make sure that their sticker is prominently placed on the top of the paper, above the fold. Or, do they let the advertiser know that, due to the circumstances, they are not comfortable running the ad and will need to refund them their money. A third option to ponder, though not optimal for the client who has a time-sensitive event approaching, was do they place the sticker either at the bottom of the page or perhaps on the front of the second section.

As you can see from the picture I have posted, they chose to move forward with the ad schedule, creating a very inappropriate situation due to the senseless use of a gun towards a school bus, and the students riding it. Regardless of what side of the guns kill people/people kill people argument to stand on, you have to see that this was an inappropriate visual.

I'm sure they will receive their share of letters and social media comments in response to today's paper. My hope is that common sense weighs out over dollars and sense if they are presented with a situation like this in the future.

A newspaper is an active medium for both news and advertising. Sales managers drive their sales teams to develop as much business as possible and create multiple options for them to sell as methods to express a marketing statement for local and national clients. And these advertisements are scheduled to run on certain dates, based on the clients campaign structure. But is there a point where the news and the message on the page that the ad would run become conflicted? Should the need of revenues take a backseat to the news of the day?

We know that the news has very often taken the backseat to advertising. Any paper that runs advertorials, ads that look like articles, have made that financial decision, among others.

Here is why I ask. Yesterday, there was a tragic incident in Jacksonville, Florida where possibly two gunmen either opened fire on a school bus, or the bus was unfortunately caught in their crossfire. The end result were two teenage girls being shot in the head. They are both in stable condition and the police have apprehended two suspects.

This was the lead story in this morning's Florida Times-Union. The headline read: Shock, anger after shooting.

Placed on top of the page is a coupon sticker, which is a popular advertising option with this paper. This morning's ad was promoting the gun show this weekend, with two prominent guns illustrated on the sticker. Now the advertising director and the editor in chief had a decision to make. Do they honor the contract with the advertiser and make sure that their sticker is prominently placed on the top of the paper, above the fold. Or, do they let the advertiser know that, due to the circumstances, they are not comfortable running the ad and will need to refund them their money. A third option to ponder, though not optimal for the client who has a time-sensitive event approaching, was do they place the sticker either at the bottom of the page or perhaps on the front of the second section.

As you can see from the picture I have posted, they chose to move forward with the ad schedule, creating a very inappropriate situation due to the senseless use of a gun towards a school bus, and the students riding it. Regardless of what side of the guns kill people/people kill people argument to stand on, you have to see that this was an inappropriate visual.

I'm sure they will receive their share of letters and social media comments in response to today's paper. My hope is that common sense weighs out over dollars and sense if they are presented with a situation like this in the future.

#Marketing #news #newspaper #shooting #guncontrol #coupons #couponsiticker

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