Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » What's up with the half-page ad wrap of the front page?

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About a month ago, an advertising manager brought back a half-page ad wrap of the Los Angeles Times' front page. This was a new concept for us, so we ran the idea by our internal ethics board.

Along with the Times' ad, we reviewed a similar one that appeared last month in the Austin American-Statesman. While traveling over Christmas, I also saw a half-page wrap of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson.

Our ethics board focused on a couple of questions: Would readers understand this was advertising and not news? Would this damage the credibility of the newspaper?

The board ruled this new ad approach was really a business question rather than an ethical one. Readers shouldn't have any problems understanding this was advertising as long as the design didn't try to imitate news content in any way, the board decided.

From there, our ad team found a business willing to pay a premium for this high-impact advertising over the holidays. Several readers let us know they don't like the ad, primarily because it makes the newspaper's front section more difficult to handle.

We don't have any immediate plans to publish this half-page ad again on the front page. We'll review both reader reaction and advertiser satisfaction before moving forward.

Advertising pays for about 80 percent of our operations, keeping the cost of your Advocate so low. That's why we're always looking for ways to help our advertisers deliver valuable content to you. We want to help both our advertisers and our readers connect with their community.