Monday, April 13, 2009

Desperate Times in La La Land: What Won't They Do For Money?

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES ran a four-page spread on Sunday pimping The Soloist, a movie based upon the life of an LA Times columnist and his homeless muse.

But in reality, the four-page spread was a paid advertisement made to look like a newspage. This comes only a few days after the LA Times ran an advertisement masked as an article on the front page - an ad for a new NBC television show.

Last week, the Daily Bruin at the University of California at Los Angeles ran an entire advertisement on their front page - and the ad was designed to look like the real newspaper (right).

Is there anything wrong with newspapers selling ads in this fashion? The ads are labeled as "Paid Advertisements" so what's the problem?

Or are we endangering the integrity of the news by selling ads that look like news?


Michael Gaudini said...

Well that's just ridiculous. Even if the ads are labeled, you know there's someone out there that's still not going to realize its an advertisement. To me, it says that they're trying to be deceitful, and why should I then believe anything else they have to say? Couldn't an advertisement just look like, I dunno, an advertisement? There should be no doubt in my mind that what I'm looking at is an ad, not a news story. When they do things like this, it gives the impression they're not objective observers, but that they have an agenda to push these ads on you.

-Michael Gaudini

Anonymous said...

I really don't think there is any harm in it. I mean, it's labeled as a paid advertisement and if a person doesn't see that then they aren't paying that close of attention to the stories anyway. When Dark Knight came out, they did a Gotham City Newspaper advertisment which was pretty neat. However, the Daily Brun running an advertisment on their front page is a little shady; seems as though the newspaper was selling their intergrity a bit by pulling a move like that.

Rachel Stumpo

Danielle Brown said...

I think that the newspapers are doing what they can in order to keep their papers running. Sometimes one may have to sacrifice a little integrity until they get back n their feet. I think it is neither good nor bad, it just is. I hope it's temporary though because people enjoy reading papers that aren't flooded with advertisments.
Danielle Brown

Patty Giron said...

Yeah there is harm in it its a freaking newspaper, we read things that have happened that will ultimately affect the human race not read hidden advertisement.. this is one of the many reasons I will not write for news, its trash, most of it, are people that stupid?

Brittney Corridean said...

I really don't think it is that big of a deal, honestly I think it is clever. It's got an attractive appeal to it and if it looks like news, then yeah I'm going to read it. If I don't like it I can always turn the page. It's not like they're asking for anything accept to check them out. In the world today, advertising has to do this kind of stuff. With tech. it's becoming more and more avoidable so I think this is fine.

Angelina Thoman said...

All of this advertisement in newspapers is quite disheartening. When I am looking to read the news, I don't want to have ads crammed down my throat. That happens enough in my everyday life, with billboards, public transit ads, and yes, it is expected in papers, because that is their main form of income for production. Yet, why on the front page? This sends the message that this ad is the most important thing in the paper that day. That in itself makes me question the integrity of the paper itself. Especially to readers choosing a paper to purchase at their local convenience store, they make their choice based on the front page of the paper. If I had to choose between the LA Times with a huge front page ad, and a lesser quality paper that wasn't cramming ads down my throat on the first page, I would sacrifice the better read for the read with more integrity. Although, I feel they can get away with it, as most people now are so desensitized to advertisements they have become full blown consumers, and don't find anything wrong with that (3 ipods...?).