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San Diego Union-Tribune changes its name for an advertisement

April 30, 2010 - 10:04 am

The practice of putting advertisements on the front pages of daily newspapers is controversial already, but the San Diego Union-Tribune plodded deeper into murky ethical waters today by changing its name to The Tribune in order to publish a front-page Wells Fargo wrap advertisement.

The ad is made to looks like an old-timey edition from April 30, 1852, suggesting what the newspaper might’ve looked like before the San Diego Tribune merged with the San Diego Union.

The “articles” in the advertisement are topped by quaint headlines such as, “New Hoop Skirts s[how] ‘too much ankle'” and sentences like “Farm animals will not be permitted within the building premises due to strict new codes.” There’s even a story about a guy named “Phatty” Boden buying up “practically the entire cat population of San Diego,” shipping them to San Francisco and selling them to “lonely dance hall girls.”

The “Grand Merger” refers to the inside of the ad, which announces that “Wachovia is now Wells Fargo in California.” The ad buy also includes two full pages of information about the merger as well as the bank’s partnership with a non-profit health organization.

How’s this for an anachronism: The San Diego Tribune wasn’t founded until 1895.

UPDATE: On Sunday, the LA Times ran the same fold-over ad, but with a different date and a bit thinner.  “THE” is cut-off and not aligned with the newspaper’s banner. See it here.

Note: This post has been updated to include more or the ad’s details.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. pistoleropete permalink
    April 30, 2010 - 1:08 pm 1:08 pm

    I see nothing wrong with it. Everyone knows the SD-UT is going to be a thing of the past eventually anyway.

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