January 24, 2005

Pay For Play

The venerable Gray Lady knows a hungry market when she sees one. The New York Times will now accept paid wedding announcements in its print edition. My biggest question upon reading this article? If reading the exisiting announcements in the "Weddings/Celebrations" section is such a popular Sunday morning bloodsport, how will readers respond to people who pay $48 per line to be included? I'm also wondering about the thought process that would lead someone to decide to pay for an announcement rather than leave it up to the editorial gods at Sunday Styles.

(Via R. Thanks.)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times is recruiting new advertising dollars from a happy, and lucrative, source: Couples seeking the distinction of a wedding announcement in the newspaper's coveted style section.

The New York Times Co. on Friday said it would publish paid announcements of engagements, weddings, anniversaries and partnerships on dedicated advertising pages within its weekly Sunday Styles section.

The venture opens up a new avenue for spouses to declare their matrimony to society, with photographs, at $48 per printed line.

Sunday Styles features for free the wedding announcements of a select few couples from an array of weekly submissions. A longer "Vows" column details ceremonies, and romantic histories, deemed particularly noteworthy.

"We are pleased to offer a guarantee that your big day will be mentioned in The New York Times," said Jyll Holzman, senior vice president of advertising, in a statement. The company did not say what impact the new advertising may have on revenue.

The News York Times already accepts paid placements for death notices, in addition to newsworthy obituaries reported by the paper. Last year, the newspaper began to offer paid wedding announcements on an Internet site (http://www.nytimes.com/weddingsdirectory) at $20 per placement.

But let no one confuse the advertised announcements with those chosen by editorial staff. A banner atop the Web site for paid listings reads: "The New York Times is not involved in the selection or production of these announcements."

Posted by Doug at January 24, 2005 10:03 PM