Hijacking the front page
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…