Anyone can advertise on the NY Times! Except for guess whom?

I was reading a review on The Old Gray Lady the other day (not in print, mind you, but online) and I noticed an interesting ad appearing on the page.

It didn’t look like an ad that would normally appear in the Times, actually. It was for a smaller company that I wish I could remember (couldn’t have been that good of an ad) but I think it had something to do with discount mortgages or something.

There was an “advertise with the NY Times” link right underneath the forgettable ad, so I clicked, because I honestly wondered how that forgettable company afforded that placement.
And it took me to a brand new offering from the NY Times . . . Self Serve Advertising!
It seems that the NY Times has developed their own version of Google’s web-changing AdWords program, which they call Self Serve, for clients with a budget under $10k (sounds perfect for Off-Broadway, doesn’t it?).
It looks awesome!  You can upload your own ad or if you don’t have one, you can use one of their templates!  You can set your own daily budget so you never spend more than you’re comfy with!  You can start with as little as $50/day!  You get reporting, tracking and more!  And you can pick exactly what section you want to advertise in!  It’s perfect!
Where do I sign up?
Where do I . . . where do I . . .
Oh.  Wait a second.  It looks like . . . yep . . . huh.
The NY Times does not allow self-serve advertising in the Theater section.
Let me say that a different way.
The NY Times Online allows you to advertise in all areas of the The Old Gray Biatch except for the Arts section (and Opinion & Politics).
I mean . . . wow . . . ok, ok, keep it up NY Times . . . keep pushing us further away, cuz you’re doing oh so well in the meantime.  What was it again?  A loss of 61 million in the first quarter?  That’s like more than 4 Lestats.
If you’d like to be discriminated against because of the business you’re in, click here to check out Self-Service Advertising on NY Times Online.
And then take your money to Google (which serves ads to the NY Times anyway).
  • All I can guess is that the Arts and Opinion sections are the two on the site where the NYT actually cleans up in terms of ad revenue, and for which offering “budget” spots might actually lower their intake.
    That said, it might not be a bad idea (in fact I’m sure it’s not) for some shows to spread some of their ad impressions around to other sections of the site.

  • Richard says:

    Your initial reaction is similar to what mine would have been…several years ago.
    The Times is just not what it was. It has lost so much in terms of market share, respect, and cachet that it is unlikely that it could regain it ever without a major campaign that would take 10 years and untold dollars. And it’s unlikely that they even understand the problems there.
    People still read the Times ’cause they want to cover every base and it still is a decent source of info for certain cultural goings-on, but as a source of go-to information and opinion, it’s been going downhill for 10 years.
    And everybody knows it.
    At one time I thought the Times was indispensable. I still glance at it daily. But if it vanished, I’d do just fine.
    I think their offer is a reflection not of their becoming accessible, but rather how far they have fallen.

  • Michael says:

    That’s insanity Ken, but I agree with the other 2 comments here. Budget spots for theatre when (often) theatre producers have the budget over 10K to advertise is unlikely going to happen.
    There may be a way to take action by everyone on this blog (and their friends) calling the phone number listed and making their voices heard )it’s now in my Blackberry to do at 11 am). Ask questions about why we cant advertise…and then say that your whole company will cancel their NYTimes subscription ! (they dont know that YOU are the company). It’s all about how you sell yourself, right?

  • Thom says:

    Yep, you got it. I tried last year to place a self-serve ad to my city (Portland, OR–you can do geographic ads like Google) for an annual Christmas show I produce. I was stunned to be shown the door.
    It doesn’t make sense to me either, but there it is.

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