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Denny's Daily Zinger: The New York Times Obituary Rip-Off

April 3, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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The illustration in the media player is the loving goodbye to Elena Gómez del Campo y Bacardí de Lindzon. It ran opposite the obit page of The New York Times on March 27, 2014.

Sra. de Lindzon was the great-granddaughter of Facundi Bacardi y Massó, founder of the Bacardi (rum) Company. "She died peacefully in her sleep in Monte Carlo on February 20, 2014."

This is the most spectacular paid obit I have ever encountered.

A New York Times paid obituary: two choices
Choice No. 1: Blow thousands of dollars on a grand ad as the Bacardí clan did

Choice No. 2: Blow hundreds of dollars for a paid obit in 7-point san serif type with all the warmth and charm of a correctional facility.

[See illustration No. 2 in the media player at right for The New York Times offer.]

The headline and deck:

In Memorium:
Celebrate a Life

Memorialize and

celebrate a loved one
in the pages of

The New York Times

  • "Type smaller than 9-point is difficult for most people to read."David Ogilvy

The Times paid obits are 7-point type.

Ergo, these two elements—7-point size and sans serif font—render the entire page unreadable without a magnifying glass.

The Cost
$263 for the first four lines and $52 per line thereafter, with 28 characters per line.

Takeaway to Consider:

  • When dealing with the Times—the only game in town—expect to get screwed.

Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. Click on the title to read the first three chapters of his most recent book, "Write Everything Right!" No cost. Contact him at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.


 

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