In a case of bad timing, a Macy’s ad that ran nationwide, including in the Mail Tribune, included a pressure cooker among its 20 sales items. No one would hold that against Macy’s — obviously the ad was developed long before the tragic events in Boston — but it was a bit painful to see anyway.
It was even more painful for our sister paper in Cape Cod, Mass., which published an apology today after inadvertently running a graphic detailing the makeup of a pressure cooker bomb on the same page as the Macy’s ad.
While some might wonder how in the world that could happen, it’s not that surprising to the people who put together newspaper pages. Newsroom page designer often see only a low-res version of the ads on the page and, frankly, don’t pay much attention to them anyway as they are trying to finish up the paper late at night on deadline. The Macy’s ad had about 20 sale items and the pressure cooker took up a relatively small spot on the page.
We were safe from duplicating Cape Cod’s juxtaposition of the graphic and the ad, because we decided sometime earlier that we would not use the graphic. It had a little too much of a “here’s how to build a bomb” feel, in our opinion. So we nixed any thought of using the graphic long before the pages were assembled.