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Friday, January 13, 2006

CJR Daily: New York Times Covers Chrysler Corporation - With Praise and Love

Gal Beckerman
Granted, it sounded pretty cool. The new Jeep Wrangler, on display for the first time at the Detroit auto show, suddenly drives off the stage, through the convention center, and smashes through a plate-glass window. It speeds down the street and then up a fake white mountain, finally coming to a stop as Chrysler's chief executive, Thomas W. LaSorda, jumps out of the passenger side and triumphantly pumps his fists in the air, Rocky-like.

It's an interesting little anecdote, and might have made a nice lede for a longer article providing additional information about the obscene lengths to which car companies go to secure publicity, along with some best-guesses as to whether that publicity is actually translating into sales.

But you won't find any such article in the New York Times. For that paper, the anecdote is the story -- a prominently placed 1,400-word feature, no less. Read this breathless and slightly fawning account and you will understand why fewer corporations believe it is necessary to advertise in daily newspapers. Why pay when you can get it for free?


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