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

Paid obituary in The New York Times of Elena Gómez del Campo y Bacardí de Lindzon.

A loving goodbye to Elena Gómez del Campo y Bacardí de Lindzon 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 (see the first image).

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 the second image 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

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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