. The Transom .

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How not to make a city look good

I saw this ad in the latest edition of Inc. magazine. At first, I thought my hometown of St. Louis had been firebombed or was suffering some major natural disaster. Maybe our local politicians were extremely corrupt and we were spiraling out of control (content for another blog...).

I looked out my window and, thankfully, all was well. We just suffer from an incredibly ignorant advertising department inside the Post-Dispatch. At first glance, you would never guess this ad was promoting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's classified section. Go there to look for work. More St. Louisans go to the Post classified than any other blah blah blah.

I took one look at this and thought I would see the head of the St. Louis tourism commission on a march to the Post looking for heads to roll. This ad completely undermines efforts made by our city to promote tourism and economic development. Are we in such bad shape that we're hanging a Help Wanted sign on the one landmark that symbolizes national expansion? Did the Post even think before putting this ad out?

Someone needs to explain to me how this city's newspaper would think this ad was good for the city. It doesn't deliver the right message. It doesn't connect with what the Post was trying to do. It gives St. Louis an incredibly poor image.

Congratulations, Post-Dispatch. I'm sure that Lee (and the Pulitzer's) would be very proud that you're doing all you can to run your subscriber base into the ground.


  • I completely agree. What an embarassment to St. Louis

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, June 29, 2006 2:40:00 PM  

  • Ugh... Before even reading your comments, my gut reaction was some cry to FEMA for aid. This stirs up so many negative connotations, I can't fathom how people designing this ad couldn't have seen some of the potential problems.

    And it also leads me to believe that this ad was likely never screened or reviewed by anyone outside the creative team that generated the concept.

    From years of writing, I know that having a fresh pair of eyes look over something before it's sent to the publisher is essential -- a different perspective on a turn of phrase, visual or piece of print collateral can help reaffirm a good idea, or steer you away from a bad idea.

    This is a real shame.

    By Blogger Jason Little, at Friday, June 30, 2006 9:13:00 AM  

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