A reader sent me the stock pages for the Tuesday, March 28 Washington Post and asked my opinion about what the paper had done, so here it is: It sucks, and it hurts the credibility of the paper and the business news staff.
First, some background: If you can get last Tuesday’s Post, turn to page D9. On this page of the stock listings there is an advertisement for tickets to the Washington Nationals baseball team. It’s not replacing the stock listings. The ad is actually printed over the stock listings in a gray tone that makes the actual stock listings somewhat hard to read.
Now, I fully realize that newspapers have been playing around with their stock listings for the past couple of months, but in most cases it’s simply cutting the listings to save on newsprint or to provide space for news content. This takes it to another level.
There’s no question that this is an ad, either. The top of it reads, “Seats on sale now,” and the bottom has the team’s Web site URL and the phone number.
I guess the separation of advertising and information just became blurred a bit more.
Does anyone now if the Washington Post business editors were alerted to this ad? And has anyone seen anything like this before?