Hijacking the front page

Hijacking the front page

BY BINOO K. JOHN| IN OPINION | 19/08/
With advertisers grabbing the front page for their jacket ads, the sanctity of the front page is vanishing.
BINOO K. JOHN laments another blow to print journalists

With jacket ads becoming increasingly popular as a platform of advertising, there is danger of page one disappearing forever. Almost all national newspapers now accept jackets which come in place of page one.  On Independence Day eve  and  on August 18,  the Times of India  had four pages of  these ads with the result that page one of the paper started at page 5.

The advantage to the advertiser is huge since it appears along with the masthead, confusing the reader as to whether it is an advertorial, some editorial gimmick or an advertisement itself.  Since it is not the start of the editorial section, such jacket insertions should ideally appear without the masthead. The masthead should appear only on the page in which the editorial starts.

On a day when there is a big story, it becomes a bit embarrassing  for a newspaper to have an Amitabh Bachchan endorsement on page one, an Amazon ad on page two, and page one actually starting on page 3 or on page 5. Regular full page ads do not have the benefit of the masthead to endorse or ad credibility to the product.

The editorial, in fact, is offering its credibility and the weight of the paper’s reputation by lending the masthead to a page where there is no news. If such…

Newspaper front page ads

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