Chicago Tribune front page adverts a throwback to the past

 by Martin Belam, 18 July 2007

I spotted an article by Alicia Dorr on The Chicagoist website today, because she used one of the images from currybetdotnet - my picture of The Mirror's "The Filth and The Fury!" frontpage from the British Library's Front Page exhibition, which is my favourite newspaper front page of all time.

The Mirror

Her post - "Boo! Hiss!" is lamenting the decision by the Tribune Company to introduce advertising on the front pages of their newspaper properties, which includes the Chicago Tribune.


Editorial teams have raised objections, saying that it is not in the reader's interests, but economic concerns appear to have won the day. Scott Smith, the Chicago Tribune publisher, says:

"There is real demand [for front-page ads] that will turn into real revenue"

Still, disgruntled readers and editorial staff could always look at it as reviving a time-honoured tradition - certainly one that lasted until only a couple of decades ago on this side of the pond.

Here, for example, back in the early 1900s, Dr Crippen may have been caught, but the eye is inexorably drawn to the good ol' HP Sauce advert in the top right-hand corner of this News Of The World front page.


And did anyone ever get such good value on front page advertising as Taylor's Port did when they booked a slot on the Evening Standard's front page in July 1966?


I'm unsure when this actually stopped in the UK. I have vague recollections of the Evening Standard perhaps having front page adverts during the 70s, but nowadays it seems that the only things our British newspapers will advertise on the front page are the freebies that they are giving away with the issue.


I'm with you Martin, front page advertising was common years ago. We are just returning to years gone by.

Pressman Los Angeles Times

I'm pretty sure the Hampshire Chronicle, coming out of Winchester, had the old-style classified ads on the front page int he 80s and possible the early 90s too. But then it's a very old skool paper!

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