Thus far, the increasingly revenue-desperate Denver dailies have avoided placing advertisements directly on the front page -- sort of. As noted in the October 25, 2007 Message column, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post now routinely affix ad stickers to their covers that are considerably more obtrusive than printed ballyhooing, since they require readers to peel them off in order to see the material beneath them.
Still, there's even more irony than usual at play when it comes to the ad-hesive item on the papers' August 8 editions, and not only because the website mentioned in the copy -- DenverHouseAuction.com -- doesn't seem to work at this writing. After all, the sort of business the ad touts have a lot to do with the desperate straits daily newspapers find themselves in these days.
The ad's text reads:
A huge selection of bank-owned properties in the Denver area must be sold.
Thursday, August 21, at 7:00 p.m.
Learn more and see complete property listings at DenverHouseAuction.com.
Call for a free brochure: 1-866-516-9062
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SHOW ME HOW
Hudson & Marshall
And what is Hudson & Marshall? According to its website, H&M is a Dallas-based firm that specializes in scaring up bids for dwellings being auctioned in several states, including Colorado, whose page displays listings aplenty -- the initial roster shows properties in Colorado Springs.
Of course, these kinds of ads once appeared in the Rocky and the Post, fattening up real estate sections and bringing in a steady flow of cash that made daily newspapers among the more consistently profitable businesses available to investors. Those days are gone, however, with these profit producers navigating to online operations such as the one linked above or free services like craigslist. The dailies undoubtedly received some nice coin to place Hudson & Marshall's stickers on their covers, but that total hardly counterbalances the dough such businesses continue to take away from them.
Sold! -- Michael Roberts