Two free dailies sell their covers to two different political parties on the same day
Take a look at those two covers. (The one on the left is 24 Hours, in case it wasn’t obvious.) At first glance—and these freebie commuter papers often only get a single glance—it looks like the two media outlets have come to completely opposite conclusions about last night’s Ontario leaders’ debate. Metro seems to think that NDP leader Andrea Horwath was the winner, while 24 Hours hands it to the Tories’ Tim Hudak. In fact, if you were to look very, very closely at both covers, you’d find disclaimers, written in small text, that explain what they really are: paid advertising.
This is actually the second time the NDP has done this type of thing since the start of the election. In May, the party bought the cover of the Toronto Sun, leading to no small amount of Twitter uproar. The reason these cover takeovers are a big deal is that they look deceivingly like editorial content. Neither paper’s ad-sales departments could immediately be reached for information about how much these types of ads cost, or how they’re sold.