Monday, July 12, 2010

Is today's USA Today full-paper ad 'wrap' a first?

Maybe I should call the four-page Jeep ad an outsert, since the copy of this morning's USA Today I bought moments ago at Starbucks was inserted inside the automaker's promotion. The ad's cover carries USAT's familiar flag in blue, above the word "advertisement." Still, it covers the entire front page, looking mighty strange. Is this a first, and are more to come?

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET: Mediaweek confirms this is a first for Gannett's top daily.

Here's a photo I took of the Jeep advertisement wrap, followed by the unobscured front page, from the Newseum's page one database:

Earlier on Gannett Blog
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  1. Did USAT sell this layout just for newspaper's vendors, or also news boxes?

  2. Mediaweek says: "Amid a still-tough ad environment, the Gannett flagship will for the first time wrap its news section with an ad—one that will completely obscure the paper as shown through the window of outdoor racks."

  3. The Stack of USA Today papers as well as the local Gannett owned paper were both full as I went to the gas station just moments ago, and I overheard a conversation between a clerk and a customer about the ever changing prices of the paper. The clerk stated that they stopped entering the paper's price into the scanner database because so few ever get sold anyway.

  4. It is quite clear to me that we don't want readers. Don't give them any excuse for buying the paper because they are interested in a particular topic. Just cover it all over with an ad. First paywalls. Now adwalls.

  5. My local Gannett paper has begun running those 1/3-page vertical ad wraps around the A and B sections (1/3 page on the front, full page of ads wrapped to the back of the section). It's annoying at best (and I immediately pull it off without reading it), but the part that disturbs me most is the subsequent pages are numbered as if the ad is 1A and 1B, which to me says it's content.

  6. Who would buy that?

  7. WTF?! At first, I thought from the photo background and the top block of text that maybe it was some special report, then I saw the Jeep line below it that it was an ad. No way would I buy that: 1. out of princple and 2. because I can't tell WTF is in it for news that day.

    FYI, they're in the boxes, too, that way. We have them outside of our building.

    Totally stupid. I'm sure USAT and Gannett made a pretty profit on the ad, and I'd wonder if that revenue was offset by a loss in subscriptions, except this is USAT ... does anyone (with a brain) really subscribe to that paper?!

    Meanwhile, this is just an example of how whenever I think the newspaper industry can't sink to a new low, dragging once mighty journalism with it, I see some crap like this!


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