Thursday, November 12, 2009

We’ve already established what you are

I found it really odd to visit the Wednesday and have my screen taken over by a Flash animation that turned out to be a paid ad. It wasn’t just the animation, or the intrusive ad picture on the right, but the fact that it took over what should have been the New York Times masthead.

As it turned out, the ad was an amusing spot featuring the Mac guy and PC guy arguing over Windoze users switching to Mac.Once upon a time newspapers used to have policies that called for strict separation of editorial and advertising, but as times get tight — and newspapers enter a long secular decline — those boundaries have become blurred. (It also seems to be happening with radio.)

When I saw this, I was immediately reminded of the old joke attributed to GB Shaw, which ends with the punchline: “We've already established what you are, ma'am. Now we're just haggling over the price.”

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