FEATURE : That’s a wrap

The mad hatter from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland recently graced the cover of the Los Angeles Times, in the foreground of two already-run newspaper articles. The startling photo was not part of an actual cover story, but a marketing ploy to garner attention for the movie. As this article explains, the blurring of the lines between real news and paid advertising has created quite a buzz. The problem with confusing audiences in this way is that it erodes trust. The LA Times may have risked its credibility by allowing an ad to look like the front page. And once audience trust is betrayed, it’s very difficult to rebuild.