Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Louisville | Ad gets failing grade in cereal test

[Click on the image for a bigger view]

This ad in The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., appears today below a headline that says, "Consumers get breakthrough diet pills free before 'just overweight' suddenly becomes 'grossly obese'

It could be easy for readers to miss the words "advertisement" at the very top of the page, and to think this is editorial matter instead.

More to a Gannett Blog reader's point, the accompanying photo of a morbidly obese man barely dressed in what appears to be an adult diaper hardly passes journalism's breakfast cereal test.


  1. From where does this abominable disgrace come? I ask, horrified at the possibility that my newspaper group may also fall prey to this scam disguised as news.

    This may just be the most gross, dreadful thing I have ever seen. And it may come to YOUR newspaper sooner than you think....

    Please tell me readers were outraged. Oh wait, reader outrage is totally irrelevent here.

    No one cares what the readers think today.

  2. Anything for revenue. Anything. I don't know about now since I no longer read the thing once I was laid off, but the practice at my paper of running ads that look like news was a near-daily occurrence.

    I complained about it: advertising used to have some oversight as to the newspaper's and its community's standards -- yes, the breakfast test.

    For that concern I was derided with, "Well, that's what the advertiser wants!" That is, all else was secondary or worse: ethics, let alone content, was superfluous in the "new Gannett."

    Wonder how that's working out for them these days.

  3. One of those unintended ironies . . . "click on the image for a bigger view".

    No thanks.

    A question. The entire page looks like (two) ads. How much revenue would those ads generate? How much do the advertisers pay?

    Are those ads purchased locally, or is that something a buyer might purchase across Gannett's "network"?

  4. "OMG, fat people! Hold up while I vomit at the sight!"

    I mean, seriously. Is the ad in poor taste? Yes. But it's hardly a bloodied mass of mangled flesh.

  5. At my site these kind of ads are common, they are sold through Gannett as a national ad and all papers are required to run them, they average about 200 for a full page, a bargain for the advertister.
    We had one ad that ran the headline was "Why Is Tom's Wife Smiling" it was for erectile dysfunction...only ran a couple of times...lots of reader complaints here in the Bible Belt.

  6. Looks like some of the drooling pressmen we have at are site.

  7. Only $200? I hope that's per USCP site. Next up: Amish stoves.

  8. Yeah..its about 200 per site, but that is dirt cheap..oh and don't worry we have the amish stove at least once a month...


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.