’s Most-Read Stories of 2008

In a year that witnessed an epic meltdown in the media and advertising world, it’s perhaps no surprise that coverage of Time Inc. calling for buyouts in the face of tumbling revenue topped the list of’s most-read stories. A controversy surrounding Big Brother, a Bud Light spot from Will Ferrell and Saturday Night Live‘s roasting of Sarah Palin also proved popular. (Ranked by total impressions.)
1. Time Inc. Calls for Buyouts (28,684 impressions)
Nov. 11: “With a handful of higher-ups already out the door, Time Inc. is moving to the rank and file as it, like other publishers, seeks to reduce its workforce in the face of dropping ad revenue.”

 2. Lowe’s Pulls Ads From ‘Big Brother’ (10,805)
Feb. 22: “CBS got a little taste of its own reality. Lowe’s has vowed not to advertise on future episodes of the reality show Big Brother 9 because of a defamatory comment a contestant made about people with autism.”

3. Ferrell’s Bud Light Spot Hits Big Time (9.633)
Feb. 5: “Get ready for more Jackie Moon pitches for Bud Light. The improvisational endorsement from Will Ferrell’s character in New Line Cinema’s release of Semi Pro initially was intended to be an online short. But Anheuser-Busch executives decided to put the ad from DDB, New York and Chicago, on Fox’s Super Bowl telecast during the fourth quarter.”
 4. Lippert’s Critique: Fey Chic (8,824)
Oct. 13: “Saturday Night Live parodies GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin, but not everybody’s laughing.”

5. Campaign ’08: Power Play (8,214)
Aug. 25: Agency creative directors put their spin on the presidential campaign season.
6. Victoria’s Secret Tops Nielsen Bowl Ratings (7,601)
Feb. 7: “The highest rated commercial in Sunday’s down-to-the-wire Super Bowl battle was an ad for Victoria’s Secret, according to Nielsen analysis released today. The spot was seen by 103.7 million people at 9:44 p.m., near the dramatic conclusion to the game, which aired on Fox.”

7. DDB Chicago ECD Tilley Dead at 40 (6,974)

Feb. 24: “Paul Tilley, the 40-year-old creative chief of DDB in Chicago, died Friday, an apparent suicide. An ambulance was called to that city’s Fairmont Hotel around 6:25 p.m. Friday following reports that someone had fallen from the building.”

8. Microsoft Unwraps 2nd Seinfeld Salvo (6,718)
Sept. 12: “The second salvo in Microsoft’s Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates campaign has appeared in the form of a four-minute-plus video available on YouTube and elsewhere. The iconic comedian and Microsoft chairman this time venture to suburbia, where they try to act like regular guys despite being surrounded by a highly irregular family.”
9. Obama Tops McCain on Search Ad Front, per Survey (6,034)
Oct 1: “SendTec found Obama’s campaign was more aggressive in purchasing ads tied to debate-related search terms.”
10. United to Shut Down Ted Airlines (5,978)

June 5: “What remained of the airline-within-an-airline strategy for battling low-fare carriers was grounded this week when United Airlines said it would discontinue Ted Airlines. United plans to reconfigure Ted’s fleet of 56 Airbus 320s with first-class seats and rebrand them as United planes starting in spring 2009.”