Fake ads draw newspaper readers to Internet


Ads that ran Friday in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News for Derrie-Air were fakes. But the newspaper publishers knew that. In fact, the phony ads were placed by the newspapers as a spoof to build traffic to their websites. The ads in print did not carry any disclaimer that Derrie-Air – a new environmentally friendly airline that based fares on total weight of the passenger and their baggage (Philadelphia to Los Angeles for $2.25 per pound, for example). A follow-up story in the Inquirer quoted Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC spokesman Jay Devine as saying that the ads went disclaimer-free because “our goal was to drive people to the website.” The website for the phony airline stated at the bottom of the page: “The Derrie-Air campaign is a fictitious advertising campaign created by Philadelphia Media Holdings to test the results of advertising in our print and online products and to stimulate discussion on a timely environmental topic of interest to all citizens.”

RBR/TVBR observation: Gosh darn, we were ready to go on a diet and buy a ticket. Just look at the amenities listed on the phony “FAQ” page: “What amenities will your jets offer? First of all there will be no class distinctions inside of a Derrie-Air jet. Every passenger will be treated like royalty. Every seat will be first class. There will simply be too many extras and treats on our flights to list here, but highlights will include: gorgeous air hosts and hostesses, golden-age Rat Pack films, top-shelf vodka Martinis, on-demand video blackjack, spacious private washrooms outfitted with porcelain fixtures and gilded faucets, gourmet snacks, on-board masseuses, loofah scrubs and, of course, digital cable!”

When last we checked, the phony website was still active: flyderrie-air.com.