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Friday, January 26, 2007

The Ugliest Newspaper Ads in the World

Now that the 76 balls have been saved (well, sort of), we've been searching for a new cause to get behind. And I think I found it.

As a new homeowner, I tend to read the Los Angeles Times' Real Estate section before anything else when the Sunday paper arrives. (I enjoy torturing myself as I brace for whatever bubble story runs that week.)

And every week, I can't escape 'em: Those horribly tacky full-page ads from Donald T. Sterling (example above). Sterling is borrowing some Trump-style bravado to pimp his apartment buildings as the best in the world -- but he's backing his boast up with the ugliest ads in the world.

I've wondered if others shared my horror at the ads -- particularly at the amount of money Sterling must plop down each week for em. If you're gonna spend so much money, why not make sure the ads look halfway decent?

Indeed, it turns out I'm not the only one. Losanjealous turned me on to Quixo, who's so disturbed by the ads that he has started a petition to convince Sterline to rethink the ads:

Whereas print advertisements currently placed by The Donald T. Sterling Corporation in the Los Angeles Times and other publications are really ugly,

Whereas The Donald T. Sterling Corporation spends hundreds of thousands of dollars publishing the full-page ads, and

Whereas millions of people are exposed to the ads every day.

We the undersigned request that The Donald T. Sterling Corporation immediately hire an actual graphic designer to create all future ad layouts. Any future ads placed by The Donald T. Sterling Corporation should, minimally, not look like a disaster, and, ideally, look pretty nice, spread beauty through the world and perhaps even reflect well on The Corporation.

Quixo's Marc Grobman explains his fascination with the terrible ads:

Here's the problem: The ads don't follow even the most basic principles of graphic design. They blend a hodgepodge of un-related type-faces. The margins are reduced to an 1/8 of an inch, surrounded by clunky borders. The width of the type is stretched and squeezed to fit. The space is cluttered with very large type, leaving no room for the eye to rest and making it hard to read or scan the page. Basically, the ads are painful to see.

This is not meant as an indictment of Mr. Sterling's secretary, nephew, intern or whoever produces these ads. They're doing the best they can without professional design software or training. But just placing one of these ads in the Times costs more than my annual salary. Donald T. Sterling Corporation can certainly afford to hire a professional to design them.

Go Clippers!

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