It’s no secret that the proverbial “wall” between editorial copy and advertising has been chipping away over the years at newspapers across the country.
But the Kansas City Star may have taken it to a new level by its handling of an announcement by Google today that included a huge 4 1/2 by 11 inch photo across the top of the front page along with a story that gushed about its new fiber offering. The photo showed Google’s chief financial officer making the announcement with a crowd of adoring fans looking on.
It is a public relations person’s dream to get such lavish coverage. But the Star took it even further.
The McClatchy-owned paper also did a huge ad wrap covering the section and half of the front page featuring—Google fiber. One would be hard-pressed to ever find such a blatant crossover between editorial and advertising.
“I would love to know the conversations among advertising, editorial and the client leading up to today’s front page of the Star with an ad wrap for Google and a front page story about Google,” a media insider told Bottom Line Communications.
“I am sure it was just a coincidence…wink, wink…on the same day. I am sure their answer will be that the advertiser had the right to advertise on the same day they made their announcement, which they do.”
His final thought?
“The average reader probably won’t notice it, but I am sure the old time journalists are shaking their heads in disbelief.”