Sunday, September 23, 2007

Calling BS on the New York Times

One of the problems that occurs when the specifics of an advertising discount become widely known is that the ad reps will end up with a mess on their hands. Existing advertisers usually get upset that the same discount was not made available to them when they paid a higher rate, and new advertisers try to take advantage of the new opportunity to get a cheap ad. So it was inevitable that this happened:

... paid what is known in the newspaper industry as a standby rate of $64,575 that it should not have received under Times policies. The group should have paid $142,083. The Times had maintained for a week that the standby rate was appropriate, but a company spokeswoman told me late Thursday afternoon that an advertising sales representative made a mistake.

Perhaps this really is the case, but I sincerely doubt it. Once the Post went public with the rate, I'm sure the Times ended up with a rate crisis on its hands. The surest way to put a stop to it is to say that a rep screwed up, tighten the line on rates for a couple of weeks, and then let the reps go right back to the discounting they were doing before.

And given what I've said above, I disagree about my previous post on this topic putting me in any kind of awkward position.

No comments: