The Line Between Editorial And Advertising Grows Blurrier Yet

Rance Crain, publisher of Ad Age and a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, listened to the new dean of the school, John Lavine, address the challenges facing media professionals today. Here’s a bit of what he heard:

“The challenge will be to engage increasingly elusive audiences who, in real time, rapidly form and deteriorate. Yet without a motivated, connected audience neither a free press nor marketing will survive,” Lavine told members of Medill’s board of advisors.
He said both journalism and advertising need to do the same jobs: create a “relevant, differentiated” story or message, and motivate an audience to spend more time listening to and reading about the message.
He saw that “unless an audience puts in the time” with your medium and your message, “you don’t have anything.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I love academians, especially the pompous narcissists from Northwestern. They’ll eloquently state the obvious — and actually believe they’re the first ones stating it — yet provide absolutely no direction for solutions.

  2. fyi, his name is Rance, with an “R”…and he’s not the publisher either. He owns the company with his brother – – both are out to lunch when it comes to Web publishing. Ad Age is in great decline. Check their circ figures.

  3. I love it. Journalism is deteriorating at a rapid pace and they’re doing nothing to grow and evolve. I’ve seen some newspapers putting their editions on the web at a fee. Who would pay that when they can just go to