Stranger Than Fiction

I’m looking for comments on a fictitious ad that was run in several newspapers and their online sites by Philadelphia Media Holdings. The ad’s ran in papers such as The Inquirer, Daily News and on and were used as a way to test the papers ad reach in print and online.

The ad, which was purported to be from an luxury airline entitled Derrie-Air, would charge customers by weight on a sliding scale as a part of a carbon neutral pricing and tree planting strategy. [As as side note; as ridiculous as this idea may sound I wonder if such a pricing structure could actually work some day? I believe that everyone should be responsible for their own carbon footprint.]

Several journalism ethicists and observers have voiced opinions that that the ad’s were clearly deceptive as there was a lack of full disclosure on the print ads, however, the online Derrie-Air website carried a disclosure at the bottom of the page informing visitors to the one page site that this was a fictitious campaign. Do I need to mention again that these ads ran in such prestigious bastions of journalism as The Inquirer?

You can view the Derrie-Air ad HERE . I look forward to your comments.