I’ve held off on writing about the obtrusive JetBlue ad that ran in Thursday’s Boston Globe because I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. It’s hard to have a hot take without an opinion.
On the one hand, we’ve long grown accustomed to financially strapped newspaper owners accepting ad placement that would have been forbidden back in the golden (as in gold) era. (Remember when page-one ads were seen as an outrage?) And I’ve tried not to be critical as long as there was no way a reader could confuse advertising with editorial content.
On the other, the Globe and JetBlue have foisted this weirdness on the paper’s oldest, most loyal, highest-paying customers: people who actually buy the weekday print edition.
So even though I don’t see anything unethical about it, I think the Globe failed to put its customers first — or, rather, it put one set of customers (its advertisers) ahead of another set (its readers). At least the ad didn’t run through a story about a plane crash.
JetBlue’s ad is clearly part of a national campaign, and I assume it ran in other newspapers as well. I’d be curious to know where else this appeared.
More: There’s a robust discussion of this unfolding on Facebook.