L.A. Observed and others have noted that today UCLA's Daily Bruin newspaper ran a front-page wrap-around ad for Haagen-Dazs ice cream. An editor's note by Anthony Pesce, linked to by LAist, admitted that the ad was contrived to make it appear as editorial copy. Forget ad reps — at this point in print journalism most newspaper editors, would be on their knees thanking heaven for their good fortune, but the Bruin editorial staff apologized for the ad, calling it “distasteful,” “dishonest,” “unethical” — and promised it wouldn't happen again. While such idealism is refreshing in an industry reduced to looking for nickels in tire treads, the editorial did not bode well for the Bruin's future health.
“The reality of our financial situation is grim,” said the editorial,
“and the fact of the matter is that we would have been forced to cut
thousands of dollars from an ever-tightening budget if we had not run
this advertisement.” It also said that the Bruin has signed on to
getting student-fee money to help keep the free paper afloat.