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A reader called today to complain we published two ads promoting newspapers: one featured John McCain and the second spotlighted Barack Obama. The message in both ads: The candidates need to reach out to newspaper readers who are most likely to be well-informed and active in the political process.

We pulled the ads earlier in the week after we realized one was in the A section and the other was in the B section. We didn't want to give readers the impression we were favoring one candidate over another. Again, the point of the ads was not to endorse any candidate but to underscore the importance of newspapers to political campaigns.

We rescheduled the ads for Saturday and placed them on facing pages. However, we failed to consider the color positions in that section. As a result, the McCain ad appeared in color, and the Obama ad appeared in black and white.

The reader who called said a friend pointed out the discrepancy to her and considered it as evidence of the Advocate's bias against Obama. She answered that she'd call the paper and see for herself. I explained what happened and thanked her for calling. I agreed we should have published the ads either both in color or both in black and white.

I encouraged her to have her friend call, too. She laughed and said I might not like that conversation.