Friday, July 11, 2008

Whine, whine, whine

C: I can't stand when there is 2 A-sections. It doesn't make sense to have them! - C.G.

A: You're right; it doesn't make sense at all. But here's the explanation:

Configuring a newspaper is difficult, in fact too complicated to explain in this space. But let's just say that the size of the sections we print is restricted by the volume of advertisement and the placement of color ads.

Now, with this in mind, consider that many of our advertisers insist on appearing in the A-section. Sometimes, we get way more ads than can fit in, say, a 12-page section. So we print two A-sections and move B, C and D back. It doesn't seem to matter to those advertisers that their ads appear in what is actually a fake A-section. It's still in section A, as far as they are concerned. Everybody's happy. Except you.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to matter to those advertisers

Do they even know?

...

Ellipses said...

I would assume they are free to buy the paper to see their ad...

-ellipses

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that some readers don't start with -- or may not even care about -- the A section. If they could, advertisers would take the front page. Personally, I can't recall the last time I bought anything because of a newspaper ad.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what you assume, ellipthes... I don't imagine that all the advertisers even have physical access to the paper. Perhaps only a tear sheet is included in the billing... or the billing is denoted as "ad appeared on page A-155"...

And it doesn't really matter what a reader may or may not start with. Why I'd have to remember that is beyond me. (And might take up otherwise valuable memory space....)

The issue I put forth was whether an advertiser knew it wasn't in the first section, when it requested and paid to be in the first section. Simply calling the second section "A" doesn't make it the first section.

So, perhaps kudos are in order for the crack O/R advertising department. Don't sell ads for the first section, sell it for the "A" section. Then it is only semantics....

Why not do some analysis on the ads and see what sections they are desired to be in. If the only requests are the "A" section and say the "Sports" section, only print the paper with those sections. Then I could be the proud owner of an ad in the prestigious "A" section. The fine O/R could then charge more for these as well....

...

Anonymous said...

Why are you so hostile on this issue?
The advertiser IS free to check the placement of their ad... whether it is the NSM of a national retailer or some shop on main st. It's quality control on their part...

-ellipses

Anonymous said...

If I pay for the first section, I make damned sure that the ad is in the first section. If I don't, I'm an ass. If I'm dumb enough to think that the second A sections is the same as the first A section, I'm doubly an ass.

Asking to have your ad placed in the A section, to me, implies that you think more readers will see it there. Therefore, you must think more people will read the A section.

Do you think research hasn't been done as to which sections readers read most? If so, why do you think ads for "male interest only" items like tires and strip clubs most often appear in sports sections?

If I advertise, I do research. If I don't, I'm an ass. If I'm smart, I'll also want my ad "above the fold," which implies that readers are so lazy, they won't flip the page over to see what's at the bottom. Readers also supposedly read the right hand page first. So if I'm real smart, I want A section, righthand page, above the fold, nowhere near a competitor's ad.

But there are only so many of "those pages."

So if I'm a newspaper publisher, to give optimal exposure to my advertisers I print a one-page "paper" that has the same stories on both on both sides of a stone tablet -- can't be folded, always the first section, son't have to worry about someone not turning it over. Of course newspapers usually don't allow ads on the front page.

So if I buy an ad in this hypothetical paper, I'm an ass.

Problem solved. Flawless, airtight logic. Don't even bother to respond.

If you do, you're an ass.

Anonymous said...

Dude... I am the one who does THAT research... i work for an advertising consulting firm :-) I know EXACTLY what the issue is... I just don't see a problem with "gaming the letter of the law."

-ellipses... and ass

... said...

Wow...

Just because you missed the question, ellipthes, doesn't make it hostile...

I don't know what the name caller dude was all about...

USA TODAY has ads on their front pages...

Guess we'll wait and see how the GOE weighs in on it...

...

Anonymous said...

USA Today is a piece of crap.

Park Burroughs said...

Whoa, fellas, ease up a bit!
It's not like the O-R is an innovator in this deception; printing double A-sections is a common practice in the industry.
Front-page ads have been common for many years in European newspapers, and they're now appearing regularly in U.S. newspapers. Haven't you noticed the front-page ads in the Observer-Reporter?
Advertisers pay a hefty premium to be on the front page. They must buy a color banner ad (6 columns by 2 inches) at the bottom of the page. I threw a hissy fit the first time it happened, but I have no say in the matter.

... said...

GOE,
I'm certain the O/R is not the innovator.....

The crux of the matter is in your term "deception". Would it be a stretch to presume that such deception is common practice in the industry...

In the simplest terms, do the advertisers say put it in the A section or put it in the first section?

How is the choice presented when an advertiser wishes to place an ad?

How is the advertiser billed?

A curiosity in how your industry works. Perhaps ellipthes will enlighten us further as to how the other side views things. (Not that mr ellipthes needs any encouragement...)

Have a nice day,
...

Anonymous said...

WHAT AN ASSHOLE!

... said...

Wow.....

Was that person looking in the mirror, or what????

...