Flaming man, bear driving car fail to distract newspaper readers in ad

Newspapers Work | Paid Content

The Belgian publishers trade group Newspapers Work released an ad at Christmastime purporting to show the power of the printed word: They provided advertisers with a car and driver and then tried to freak them out. None looked up from their papers, even when presented with a flaming jogger, men playing golf on a median strip or a trouserless driver.

"To catch people's attention and hold on to it? That's what newspapers do," the ad says.

Another thing newspapers do? Sue Google. The Internet giant and Belgian newspapers came to an accord in December over claims Google "violated their copyright by displaying snippets in Google News and linking to cached copies of their pages in Google search," as Google put it in a blog post.

Part of the deal seems to involve Google advertising in Belgian newspapers, Jeff John Roberts reported last month.

In other words, the American search giant appears to have bought millions of dollars of advertising in the hopes of staving off a direct copyright levy. ...

Paying $6 millon to end the Belgian headache may be a good investment, especially as the company can still claim (technically at least) that it still does not pay copyright fees for newspaper excerpts.

(Video via Norman Lebrecht's Slipped Disc)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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