Ad or Editorial Content? Readers Must Figure It Out

Ad or Editorial Content? Readers Must Figure It Out 1Both Nascar racing and feature films are notorious for their high levels of product placement. Now, a new film about a Nascar driver has achieved its own prominent placement in both the advertising and the editorial pages of The Sporting News magazine.

Subscriber copies of the Aug. 4 issue of The Sporting News are covered by a fake wraparound cover promoting ”Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” from Columbia Pictures, which stars Will Ferrell as a champion Nascar driver.

What is perhaps more confusing is that the real cover, found underneath the wraparound, also has a small picture of Mr. Ferrell, with the line ”Ricky Bobby tells all!” Four pages of editorial content mention the movie, including a two-page article by the associate editor, Matt Crossman, about his experience of being an extra in the film, and a ”week ahead in sports” item that notes the film’s Aug. 4 debut.

The most unusual crossover, however, comes next to the magazine’s masthead. The ”My Turn” column, which often features celebrities or other pop-culture figures, is attributed to the character of Ricky Bobby, and appears with two photographs of Mr. Ferrell in character.