It ran last spring in the Toronto Globe & Mail, the winning entry in a contest to demonstrate creative solutions to print advertising. The winning agency, Cossette Atlantic, Halifax, got $500,000 (Canadian) worth of free space. Well, no doubt about it. Fiddling with the color of the type in the editorial columns is, indeed, a clever way to illustrate the iconic image of McDonald's large fries.
But to turn over the editorial matter in a newspaper to an advertiser in any way, shape or form is unacceptable. Yes, this was evidently mock copy (unbeknownst to readers). And, yes, newspapers are under all sorts of financial pressures. But the agency here treated this publisher like a slut.
Which is precisely how the publisher behaved.