Saturday, 11 July 2009

Front is front

Friday's insensitive Toronto Sun false front ad for Bruno the movie was bad timing.

Any positive effect the false front and all of page 2 had in promoting Sacha Baron Cohen's movie was surely lost by the real-life tragic murder of a Toronto woman found dead in a car trunk.

Some people apparently wondered if Cohen was the "body found in car trunk."

Are Toronto Sun editors cringing over the latest false front? We're sure with advertising dollars involved they didn't have much say in the matter.

Family and friends of the dead woman should be incensed.

Bruno and the garbage strike, or Bruno and a light animal rescue story, but not Bruno and the tragic death of a woman.

A few TSF readers seem to feel it makes a difference if the front page ads are real front pages or wraps. Why? Front is front when you are walking past newspaper boxes, kiosk stands and stacks of papers in stores.

(Friday's sellout was technically not a wrap. Only the first and second pages were part of the Bruno promotion. The back two pages were normal fare.)

No doubt selling out the front page will continue, but Friday's mix of true crime reality and a movie promotion is a new low for Sun Media.

1 comment:

  1. Remember back in the days when ads were *pulled* if they clashed with the news content. Toronto Sun editors did pull ads from time to time, either due to conflicts with news content or, (and get this), to make more space available for important news!

    For example: if the top story was a plane crash, the paper took it upon themselves to pull any airline ad; if the page had a story of a child's murder, a nearby ad with smiling children was pulled or moved; if a big story needed more space, the first several pages were cleared of all ads. That was back when papers cared more for their readers than for their bottom line.

    Remember when Lady Diana was killed, and the Calgary Sun's front page was a big photo of her smashed car ... along with a front page ad for a lawyer offering to sue for car crash victims; the Toronto Sun's feature about over-40 yr old women ... side-by-side with an ad for vaginal tightening; Sunshine Girl swimsuit feature ... with ad for breast enlargement; story about the death of US marines ... ad for environmental group about the importance of marine life; story about dogs killed (poisoned) in a Toronto park ... alongside a pet food ad offering to keep your pet full of life and showing a photo of a dog; Toronto Sun story about two teens killed in car crash ... alongside a car insurance ad.

    Who is asleep at the wheel? Do editors have their hands tied? Do advertisers have control? Does the ad dept overrule editorial? I assume proof readers no longer exist at any newspaper.

    Recall that meeting Quebecor had in Ottawa, just after it took over Sun Media. Charles Cavell, (then president and CEO of Quebecor, after Peledeau Sr. had died), gave the Ottawa Sun, and in fact all of Sun Media, its marching orders. He used his wallet to make his point. 'Nuff said?