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Bruin Baiting: UCLA Paper Still Getting Rapped Over Ad

[Friday Update: Today's Al Tompkins Poynter column continues the discussion.]

Critics continue to pile onto the decision, by UCLA's Daily Bruin newspaper, to run a front-page wrap ad on its Tuesday edition. This kind of ad, which duplicates the look of a paper's true front page that appears after the ad, was for Haagen-Dazs ice cream. That day the nonprofit Center for Innovation in College Media ran a critique on its Web site that nicely compared the look of the offending Bruin front pages, faux and true. The writer, Bryan Murley, hammered the Bruin -- while applauding its dissenting editorial staff -- and claimed the wrap went way beyond the pale of acceptable advertising strategy.

Today comments continue to appear in response to Murley's blog, some sympathizing with the Bruin's dire financial predicament: "I'd much rather the Bruin use unorthodox methods to stay financially solvent," posted one reader, "than be taking a dole from students."

The site also links to a Tuesday reaction by U.C. Berkeley's paper, the Daily Californian. Its editor, Bryan Thomas, weighed in with a blog in which he discloses that the Daily Cal

had also been approached by the ice cream maker to do the same thing,

but rejected the idea. After some soul-searching about the perils of

advertising breaking through the blood-brain barrier that traditionally

separates it from editorial content, Thomas offered a very sensible

opinion about the Bruin and its staff: "I think when the dust

clears they will realize that the world has not ended, and the

award-winning paper will still go on to produce great student

journalism."

Meanwhile, the New York Times has begun accepting front-page ads, and today's L.A. Times carries its own editorial-impersonating ad copy on its front page.


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