Thursday, April 23, 2009

To be continued..

As I have maintained this blog purely for my grade in MMC2100 (Writing for Mass Communication) and the class has ended, I have decided that I will continue blogging on media-related issues.  This isn't a particular post in itself other than to assert that my blog will continue.

As a brief snippet, in media-related news, at the University of California - Los Angeles, the Daily Bruin has been completely screwed by an advertisement.  

I happened to meet the editor-in-chief, as well as other members of the staff, at a journalism conference last Fall, and I remember remarking on their layout.  They had one of the few front-page layouts that I liked by a college daily newspaper.

However, it seems an advertisement decided to use the front-page design in a deceptive manner.  An advertisement was run about honey-flavored ice cream that copied the exact design of the front-page design for the Daily Bruin (minus a few words under the flag that says "paid advertisement").  Check it for yourself.

Here’s the real Bruin front page:


And here’s the advertisement:

fake front

The Daily Bruin's staff is fuming mad over the advertisement, especially because it is a "wrap advertisement", which means that it covered the real front-page so that when students saw the newspaper they thought the whole issue was about stinking honey bees.

Many of the staff offered to forfeit their paycheck, but because not all of them could forfeit their paycheck and because of the dire financial crisis that the Daily Bruin, like other college newspapers (see Middle Tennessee State University's $100,000 budget cut to their newspaper, The Sidelines), is facing, it could not afford to reject the advertisement.

I think the advertisement was pretty ridiculous, by fooling readers into thinking that your advertisement is the actual newspaper copy, you are undermining the newspaper's quality.  I think that wrap advertising is a good source of income, but I think all wrap advertising must be smaller than the actual newspaper size.  For example, The New York Times ran their first wrap advertisement, which was only a third of the size of the newspaper.

I think the Daily Bruin should work hard to find new advertisements and then cease doing business with this "honey ice cream" business.  What do y'all think?

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