The award for spurious claim goes toâ€¦
Browsing the local news-stands the other day, Dog was struck by how many magazines there were proclaiming themselves to be “Magazine of the year”. Within moments, a high-level investigative team was unleashed. Its controversial findings that will shake the world are revealed here for the first time.
Herald buries tale of funeral fiasco
When comedian Rikki Fulton’s widow Kate objected in print to fellow comic Johnny Beattie having taken up a front pew at her late husband’s funeral, despite not being invited, it was the splash in most Scottish newspapers.
However, The Herald took a slightly different tack and in a downpage piece reported that she had called the paper asking it to rescue her from the media attention, lamenting: “I have been telephoned by the Record, Mirror, Express and Scotsman. Can you get me out of this? The Record are off their heads.”
She probably phoned The Herald because it was that very organ which had carried a large paid-for acknowledgement that day which ended: “It would have all been quite perfect had not Johnny Beattie refused to move from the front row reserved for the funeral party, causing mayhem.”
There was once a time when newsdesks scanned proofs of death notices, public notices and advertisements burrowing for leads for the next day’s news pages, or relied upon a covert call from the advertising department.
Such old-fashioned practices would have given The Herald an excellent exclusive.
Dog knows only too well that errors can, from time to time, slip in to even the most slickly produced of magazines. Each editor has a different way of dealing with them when the complaints roll in. Some own up, some just ignore the letters, others run corrections and clarifications columns. But Dog is most impressed with Contract Journal’s approach (see left). Take the piss out of the complainant. Dog will certainly be copying this style in future.
Many a slipâ€¦
The 12-strong British team attending the annual meeting of the International Journalists Ski Club found their hosts had laid on something special to mark the club’s 50th anniversary: nude swimming in the open air pool at Alpe d’Huez, no less.
The official guide handed out on arrival to each of the 250 journalists contained the words “Free access to the outdoor swimming pool (swimming shorts strictly forbidden)”. As they hastened to get their kit off after a strenuous day on the slopes, someone realised the hosts had not translated entirely correctly the French words “slip de bain obligatoire”.
“Pity,” sighed team captain, freelance Tony Gearing. “It could have made the entente so much more cordiale.”
Take a quick look at the two covers above. Now how much do you think Star costs? And New? If your answers were 45p and 50p respectively, look again. In fact, those figures are the margin by which the magazines are cheaper than a competitor. The real price is in type about one third the size.
Slightly iffy marketing? You said it, not me.