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Thursday, April 29, 2010

AJC Reach foes hit the paper where it hurts

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Earlier this month, we blogged about the growing frustration that many homeowners were feeling about an AJC-distributed advertising circular called Reach. Folks had been complaining for months about the litter caused by the Reach ending up in the street or sidewalk or stacking up in vacant lots.

Some folks in East Atlanta had even taken the time to launch StopAJCReach.org, a website dedicated to persuading the AJC to take greater care when delivering the ads.

One of the best ways to get a corporation to listen, of course, is to hit it where it hurts — in the pocketbook. The website has been calling for advertisers to boycott the AJC and it's apparently scored a major coup. Chris Bolton, the owner of Houndstooth Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, has reportedly decided not to renew a $250,000 advertising contract with the newspaper. But, nearly as bad as losing the money, the AJC will be haunted with this testimonial that Bolton sent to the anti-Reach website:

"(The Reach is) simply an aesthetically disgusting product that was cluttering metro Atlantans’ driveways and lawns, and our name was associated with this soggy mess."

And here's the gist of Bolton's missive:

The only way I could get this through to the AJC exec was to look him in the eye and declare: “READ MY LIPS! We’re not any doing any more AJC Reach ads. Period.”

I feel for the AJC. In today's dismal business environment, every media company is doing what it can to make ends meet. But as a homeowner, I agree that the Reach is obnoxious — it's the print equivalent to an unwanted telemarketer call. There's got to be a better way to make money that doesn't alienate your own customers and clients.

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