Friday, 5 October 2007

What's on first?

The Toronto Sun's front page Friday looked like a trial run at the new printing plant gone horribly wrong.

But stop the presses, sources say it was a normal press run at 333 King Street East and everything was intentional to appease the advertiser.

This is what Sun readers saw Friday:

Part of a Hyundai ad covering most of the right half of the front page photo.

All of Page 1 was repeated on Page 2.

Page 3 was a full page Hyundai ad.

Inside Your Sun, usually found on Page 2, was on Page 4.

The front page certainly is an eye-catcher and a keeper for Toronto Sun oddities collectors.

"It's like one of the annoying pop-up ads on the Internet, blocking what you actually clicked on and want to see, or in this case, paid for and want to see," said one TSF reader.

TSF's first impression? It was a failed Sun attempt to follow the Star and Post and have a 1 1/2 - page wrap ad for the front of the paper.

But sources say the first few pages were planned that way for the benefit of Hyundai.

"This is more of a story about how an advertiser pulled off a major front-page coup, with practically every publication in town - not how the Sun did it," said a source. "Shapes of things to come as ALL newspapers clamour for cash."

That's the bean counters at Quebecor for you - anything for a buck. Never mind the readers and the reputation the Toronto Sun has for daily, eye-catching front page photos.

In accommodating Hyundai, did the Sun consider all of the front page an ad, or just the space used for the overlay? Is this the future - large front page overlay ads?

The 1 1/2-page wrap ads appearing in the other Toronto papers this year do not interfere with the front page. You just pull the wrap ad off and read on.

(Speaking of wrap ads, if you want to know more about the ongoing "Know better. Newspapers." ad campaign in newspapers across Canada, click here.)

At first glance, Friday's front page ad placement in the Sun, the front page repeated on Page 2 etc., looks like someone screwed up big time.

Sun readers must have been wondering what's on first?

Why is first on second?

What, a full-page ad on third?

Hey Abbotttttttt.

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