Magazine and newspaper advertising folks just don't know what they're missing! While they may have invented the advertorial ad, wherein, say, Washington Post articles get reprinted in ad space, print folks have none of the boundless freedom of online ad folks, who aren't restrained by the physical facts of editorial vs. ad space. Online ad sales is now the most creative editorial job going! Some folks call the online campaigns that get integrated into the full space of the web page a "complete takeover." That's quite an evocative phrase! This morning, this very website is in the hands of the ad department; completely taken over. We need your advice about what to do. Should the editorial department take a stand?
While we're so pleased that Evian is interested in advertising here, it seems that our ad sales folks have misled them about the scope of a campaign available. We should also note that we love our ad department, and totally get that their work makes it possible to do our jobs. We're not total idiots.
But my goodness, it looks rather like JonBenet Ramsey reached down from heaven and tapped Gawker's front page with her pint-size magic wand!
We have had discussions with the ad department before about how it isn't appropriate for advertising to encroach into edit, when the ad folks have sold alterations to site logos, and allowed advertisers to control the color of photographs; our point of view has been ignored.
So there's only one thing we can control—the creation of editorial content. So, since this website looks, in the words of one former Gawker editor, like a giant pregnancy test, shouldn't we only be writing about babies? Or maybe just writing like babies? (Who's an adorable website! Who is!)
Or should we not provide any editorial content at all today? Maybe the only way to negotiate with the business side is to provide them with no content, and therefore no pageviews, until they stop the encroaching madness.
UPDATE: The intrusive part of the campaign is coming down. Now on with our regularly scheduled programming.
UPDATE: Our publisher Nick Denton has something to say about all this.