The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors were moved by Thursday’s mock front page advertisement to send an open letter to LA Times‘ corporate chairman, Sam Zell. They wrote:
We urge the Times to stop selling its front pages to advertisers, especially in such an offensive and alarming manner. The cost of this distasteful practice to the people of Los Angeles County is far greater than any short-term gains by the Tribune Company.
LA Observed has posted a copy of the letter.
The advertisement, which was for Universal Studios’ new King Kong ride, wrapped around the LATExtra section and was designed to look like editorial copy – complete with fake articles. LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein defended the ad, saying:
The Universal Studios Hollywood ad wrapping Thursday’s LATExtra section met our advertising guidelines, including a large, red ‘advertisement’ notification on top of the page. Our readers understand the ad-supported economic model of our business, which allows us to provide the outstanding journalism they rely upon 24/7.
Previously on FBLA:
More Ad Copy Masked As News In LA Times