Since I'm back for a few minutes, what's with the house ad on pg. E-20 of today's L.A. Times Calendar section? It's a full-page kiss to Harvey and Bob Weinstein on the launch of their new post-Miramax venture, from the Times itself—complete with poor grammar. It reads: "The Los Angeles Times Motion Picture Advertising Team Congratulates The Weinstein Company on their [sic] new endeavor." Then a list of seventeen upcoming Weinstein films follows. Editorial staffers in Calendar are not too happy, and wonder if the Times plans to start congratulating in print all potential advertisers. Worse, will big advertisers demand full-page tributes in the pages of the Times? It's unclear whether this new gambit was approved before this week's organizational shakeup in the advertising and marketing departments, or represents so-called out-of-the-box thinking by the incoming ad sales regime.
* Vive le difference: There is a congratulatory ad in today's New York Times too—but that one, a two-page color ad in the Business section, was bought and placed by the Weinsteins. At the NYT, apparently, the ethic is that the ads are supposed to bring in money. How outdated.
** Romenesko letter: "The trades pull this kind of crap all the time. Even for post-Jack Fuller Tribune Co. brass, though, such pandering is unusual. Maybe the editors of the LA Times' infamous Staples Center advertorial could be recruited for a special section," writes Paul Bribbon.