Friday, December 11, 2009

Advertising masquerading as news

Edting the Herald is calling for nominations for the Golden Garths, the inaugural awards for the Worst Opinion Columnist, Most Egregious Example of Advertising Masquerading as News, Biggest Media Beat-up and Worst Article in the New Zealand Herald in 2009.

That’s a superb idea and I hope someone else does something similarly snarky for the Sunday Star-Times, which has in every issue an Egregious Example of Advertising Masquerading as News. Here’s one that occupied a quarter of a page in the 6 December issue:
Garden snapshot seals reality TV debut
Cameras have started rolling for a new garden show hosted by green-fingered celebrity Lynda Hallinan and featuring an Auckland family who will transform their backyard into a vegetable paradise for the reality series.

The show will screen on Prime early next year, with the aim of illustrating how even novice gardeners can grow their own food and become more self-sufficient.

Freshly picked star Devoney Scarfe, 34, who will appear on the show with husband Jon Coles and their two young sons, reckons it was the charms of two-year-old Otis that swung it with the producers. “He was just cute, waving at the camera and stuff.” [. . . ]

One of the big drawcards was getting to work alongside Hallinan, who edits NZ Gardener and is a Sunday Star-Times Sunday magazine columnist.
Who publishes NZ Gardener? Fairfax.

Who publishes the Sunday Star-Times? Fairfax.

Was this a news story? No.

Was it an ad for a sister publication? Yes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a half-page ad for Cuisine today. Sorry, I mean news story about the latest issue.