Facebook lets sketchy Dr. Oz Ad Use Rolling Stone’s name

The other day I clicked on this Facebook ad, chiefly because I was surprised to see Rolling Stone do a story like this:

ShaniaTwainFacebookAd

I landed on a weird page with a Good Housekeeping logo and seemingly nothing to do with Rolling Stone. Here’s the URL:

http://www.individualhosts.com/st-fy/goodhousekeeping/news/indexc.html?voluumdata=vid..00000001-9ad2-4c52-8000-000000000000__vpid..f98bd800-3d14-11e5-852b-f2b8b4cc5cdd__caid..b250df16-0839-4c93-b4b5-8c53296947e3__rt..R__lid..4d193a20-1053-41ab-979b-8b7d9e82aa51__oid1..5df07c75-6138-41dd-9abb-5c91dcb8dde3__oid2..2a30ed04-2c56-4e1e-b32e-ae8c6d586ad4__var1..acctest31n1__rd..www%5C.%5Cfacebook%5C.%5Ccom&CREATIVE_ID=acctest31n1

There are all sorts of other magazine logos on the page including Vanity Fair and People, which are owned by separate companies. The whole thing made no sense.

ShaniaTwainGoodHousekeepingLandingPage

The article itself started off fairly normally for a women’s magazine, although not at all like something you’d see in Rolling Stone, and then it took a strange turn into botox territory.
ShaniaTwainScamArticle

The plot thickened as Dr. Oz got into the act.

ShaniaTwainDrOzScam

All I can say is that this has to be a violation of Facebook’s terms of service and if I were Rolling Stone or any of the other publishers, I would be mad as hell. If Facebook’s going to play in the big publishing leagues, it can’t be doing things like this.

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Hey, newspaper editors and publishers, radio’s where it’s at

Newspapers need to start their own live radio shows

As newspapers everywhere fool around with video, Twitter and Facebook, they’re ignoring the one medium that really makes sense for them — radio. This is especially strange given that the only news media habit the internet doesn’t appear to have changed is radio listening. News junkies like me may have given up our print newspapers and TV newscasts, but we still listen to the radio just like we used to.

The ratings for news and information radio — CBC Radio One in Canada and NPR in the U.S. — bear this out. Overall, U.S. radio listening has been trending upwards since 2005.

So, why is information radio holding on so strong?

  1. It tells you what’s happening in the world, offering up a news, weather, traffic and sports package that’s more needed than ever when you don’t subscribe to a newspapers.
  2. Terrestrial radio is still the easiest to listen to. While live streaming radio — on a computer or smart phone — is simple enough, it’s not nearly as reliable as old fashioned AM and FM radio quite yet. Podcasts still take too many steps and too much planning.

With the “internet of things” on its way, however, internet radio is only going to get better and more convenient. And newspapers should be entering this key market now. After all, radio shows have been interviewing newspaper reporters and columnists for years because they go places and do things that broadcast reporters often don’t. No radio or TV station in any major market can match the local newspaper for newsroom size and capacity.

By starting their own news and information radio shows, newspapers can showcase and promote themselves and earn revenues. Here’s what they need to do:

  1. Make a few smart hires from the world of broadcasting.
  2. Build a cheap radio studio
  3. Tell employees to give up their gigs with the competition
  4. Hit “On Air”
  5. Post on Twitter and Facebook that you’re live and people need to tune in

Thinking about online ‘newspaper’ design

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the best design for delivering news online. In a nutshell, I’d say there are three rules that must be followed:

  1. Make it crystal clear what your site is about — NO confusion!!!
  2. Make it white.
  3. Make it minimalist.

It’s pretty obvious that following these three rules has helped make Google the success it is today, so why do so many others continue to ignore them?

For example, I have yet to figure out what Daylife‘s about, Yahoo’s new Shine portal completely overloads me, and the Toronto Star‘s new health site not only has way too much going on on the page, but it’s also not clear whether the banner on top of the site is a logo or an ad. I had to click to find out it was the logo.

Funnily enough, what Google does on its main page is basically what broadsheet newspapers have done for decades.

They take the main event — in Google’s case, the search function — and give it by far the most prominent play meaning biggest font and often an accompanying picture.

Newspapers tell you about their other more specialized sections or, in Google’s case, their specialized search functions for news, maps, images, blogs, etc. Google also has no ads on the front page as many newspapers did for years. It is reserved for the most important stuff, which sometimes also includes quirky, as in the special illustrations. The ads and less important content goes elsewhere.

So online newspapers, how about it? Stop the crazy overload. Make the front page for the day’s top stories and give clear links to the more specialized content. After all, the classic front page was such a good idea that Google took it!