'Chronicle' Ad Looks Like Editorial

RECEIVED Fri., June 8, 2007

Dear Editor,
    While reading the latest Chronicle [June 8], I came across an “article” on “living without pain,” or something like that. It sure seemed like an advertisement, so I looked for some sort of notice indicating that this cleverly designed piece of filth was indeed an advertisement. Nothing could be found, but, wait, what is that microscopic dot near the top? Hmmm, I wonder what this could be! I got out my 30x microscope in the lab and took a look, but alas, I could not make out what it was. I guess my scope is just not strong enough; it is only designed for studying human cell structure. So I placed the page under a Scanning Electron Microscope to get a better look. I figured the SEM would work because it is generally used for subatomic particle research. Ah ha! There it is! “Paid Advertisement”! The letters were only one-atom wide, but sure enough, there it was, satisfying the requirement that swindlers must meet, indicating that a contrived, fraudulent piece of trash is just an ad.
    You should have more dignity than to let shit like this happen in your paper. It is your paper; you control what goes in it. By placing this pathetic crap in the pages, you are agreeing to take advantage of, and fool your loyal readers. Shame on you.
    Oh, and I know you have done nothing illegal, so don’t bother with that spin.
    I apologize for being so upset, but I like your paper, and I guess I am just really disappointed in this downhill turn.
Dan McAllister
   [Editor responds: There was no attempt to fool our readers. It does say "Paid Advertisement" in admittedly small letters, but in no way does the ad resemble Chronicle editorial style – the ad looks different from all and any of the Chronicle editorial styles. We have very high regard for our readers, so none of us thought anyone would interpret that as editorial. We are sorry that it was confusing and will review our policy (which is not to say that we are promising to change it).]
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