Tuesday, July 29, 2003

July 30, 2003
Good staff meeting yesterday morning. Stimulating conversation about funky ad placement. Solid discussion. Staff just about evenly split. The question: Is it okay to put a specific ad next to editorial about the product that’s in the ad? If there’s a column, let’s just say it’s Phil Spangenberger’s gun column as an example, and in the column he’s talking about a Colt, and across on the facing page is a full page ad for Colt. Is that cool? Or, might you be tempted to conclude that Colt paid for the ad and got the editorial as a bonus? Would you be less suspicious of “whoring out” going on if the ad were for a company that was not Colt, like say, Navy Arms? Well, what if you found out that the gun he’s talking about, the Dragoon Colt, is not even being made by Colt anymore (this is true), but a reproduction of it is made by Navy? (also true) Does that fact diminish your suspicions or change your mind? Or, the fact that travel ads are sold exactly that way (placement next to the destinations mentioned in editorial). Hmmmmmm. Not easy answers, but we all believe our credibility is very important and if readers get a jaded idea of how editorial is being swayed by advertising, one thing is for certain: that can be real bad news for all concerned.

Got the presentation binders and printing back from Technaprint at about 11. Robert brought in little, white gloves for his staff to put the pages together. Gus, Abbey and Robert carefully slipped each page into the appropriate sleeve and put together the three presentation binders in the conference room. They are a thing of beauty. Robert handed me his when it was completed and said, “Now bring home a TV show, or don’t come home.” Ha. Funny guy.

Finished roughing in copy for the next Classic Gunfights at about five. We’re doing the McSween House Fight and I forgot how incredible that fight really was. I want to do some new illustrations to help flesh out the new format. Going to be fun. We’ve got a quick turnaround on this one so I’ve got to work smart.

We leave at 7:15 this morning, and fly all day, getting into New York at about 7:30 tonight. We’re staying in an exclusive hotel where you can’t even walk thru the lobby without a tie, jacket, slacks and proper shoes. Needless to say, I’m a tad nervous about this level of formality. Bob Brink was in this same hotel about two months ago with hall-of-famer Jim Brown and Spike Lee (Bob is forming a new hip-hop group with them called “Brown-Spikey-Brink.” Not really), and they wouldn’t let Spike in the dining room with his neon sneakers. That part is way true.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.”
—Dag Hammarskjold

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