Denny’s Daily Zinger: ‘New York Times’ Caught With Its Pants Down

An underwear ad next to the underwear bomber. Click to enlarge.

The lucky underwear brand whose ad ran next to the underwear bomber on The New York Times Online—thank you very much Big Data. Click to enlarge

As readers of this cranky blog know, the “Big Data” marketing craze amuses the hell out of me.
I once looked at some shoes on and decided to purchase them direct from New Balance, whereupon Zappos chased me all over the Internet with photos of shoes.

Several weeks later, my wife, Peggy, and I were on a Rhine riverboat cruise, whereupon Son of Zappos started chasing me all over Europe.

This past Sunday, another Edward Snowden leak revealed the NSA was aggregating millions of faces from Facebook.

Okay, my face is all over the Internet. If the NSA wants to see my aged puss, they’re welcome to it.

An Underwear Ad Next to a Photo of the Underwear Bomber
The New York Times
online account of the new NSA revelation was illustrated with a photo of terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla.

Abdulmutalla achieved fame as the so-called “Underwear Bomber,” having tried to blow up an airliner by setting off an explosion in his underpants.

Check out Illustration No. 1 in the media player at right.

Takeaway to Consider

  • Question No. 1: Was The New York Times spider instructed to insert an ad for Mac Weldon underpants next to any story that mentions underwear?
  • See Illustration No. 2 in the media player.
  • Note the headline:
  • Question No. 2: Next to a photo of Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla, is this ad not an oxymoron?
  • Ah … Big Data. Ya gotta laff!

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Chip Fichtner writes, “Denny: Almost through it. Great as always. Question: With any good book, I like to buy a dozen and give to friends and employees. Should I buy direct through you or from Amazon?” Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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