Monday, 26 September 2011

Worth repeating

The following posted comment by a TSF reader slams the commercialization of the Sunshine Girl, as seen  Sunday.

Talia, the Sunshine girl, is wearing a t-shirt promoting a footwear website that has an ad to the left on the same page and an ad to the right on the next page. She is also wearing the company's product.

TSF asks, what next? Placement ads in editorial cartoons? Columnist sponsorship, ie this Peter Worthington column is brought to you by Pepsi? 

Quebecor's anything-for-a-buck mentality is turning the Sun into a punchline.

Here's the posted comment: 
Speaking of the Toronto Sun crashing, it hit bottom (again) today (Sept 25). I'm not talking about the error-filled, one-sided, anti-Liberal multi-page rant (disclosure: I've never voted for Dalton McGuinty and never will). I'm not talking about the puff piece planted in the paper to boost the reputation of hamfisted city councillor Doug Ford. I'm not even talking about the Sun rerunning stories that ran earlier in the week.

I'm referring to the selling out of the Sunshine Girl.

Today's Girl was wearing a T-shirt with big logo across the front. The caption actually mentioned the brand of boots she was wearing which (surprise!) was the same brand as the t-shirt logo. And look! By sheer coincidence, right next to the Girl, there's a half-page ad for the exact same brand of boots.

There's nothing wrong with the Sunshine Girl promoting a charity or appropriate fundraiser. But turning it into an outright commercial ad?

Back in 2000, I spoke with two managers and one vice-president at the Sun: if an advertiser wanted to use the Girl to (subtlety) promote its interests, (e.g. wear a t-shirt with their logo on it), it should cost at least $10,000, with the girl getting $1,000. The Sun folks just laughed and said they would never sell the Girl.

I pointed out several examples when the Girl was used to promote commercial products, as a result of a "direct request" from either the Sun CEO, Sun publisher or other senior Sun manager. All of those were done as personal favours for friends of those Sun executives. It benefited no one but those Sun executives and their corporate friends.

Sun Media interests before readers' interest.

Let's recap: the Sun now sells out the Sunshine Girl, the front page, the homes section, the auto section, the travel section, some of the sports section and some of the news section. 

What's left?

It's time the entire Toronto Sun newspaper came with the disclaimer "Advertisement".

1 comment:

  1. Two more "Sunshine Girls for sale" this week.