Careless Newspaper Burns Ad Agency

Earlier today I received a phone call from David Jacobs, senior vice president and director of interactive at The Tombras Group. He called in response to my recent post about a spacing error and typo in a full-page ad announcing the agency had earned top honors at the national 2009 ADDY Awards Show. What he shared was interesting and disturbing.

The ad, which only ran in The Tennessean, was initiated by the paper to congratulate The Tombras Group on its award. According to David, The Tennessean sent the agency a suggested ad that contained typos. The Tombras Group corrected the typos, including the spacing error and misspelling of “mountain,” and sent the revised copy back to the paper.

David and his colleagues were expecting The Tennessean to send a copy of the corrected version back for approval, but the next thing they knew the ad was in the paper’s Sunday edition.

These errors not only reflect poorly on the agency, but also unfairly diminish its achievement. This is a real injustice to The Tombras Group, and I hope The Tennessean will do the right thing by publicly acknowledging its errors.

Of course, if someone from The Tennessean has additional information to share about this or another perspective, I invite that person to either comment on this post or get in touch with me. If someone from the paper does contact me, I’ll report the results here.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

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