A Guide to Digital Ad Acceptance
With marginal ads, we head into an area where a supplied ad can cause as much amusement as grief. But what can you say to an advertiser who submits a marginal ad? "At least you're trying?"
A marginal ad could be a mis-sized Quark file, such as a flier for Mistress Moldavia's Tattoo and Body Piercing Emporium ad ("We specialize in maximum pain") that is scheduled to run in a 73⁄4x101⁄2˝ book. The images might be RGB JPEGs, or the proof done on a black-and-white laser printer. It's not ideal, but we can make it work.
Our first task is to find out who created the ad and how it was prepared: A friend who sidelines as a graphic designer? What software was used?
Then, walk the advertiser through the process of fixing the ad, and don't neglect to mention the premium charges for doing so, which can range between 5 and 20 percent.
Poor ads make even the lion-hearted prepress operator cringe. Poor ads may be: on a PC-formatted disk, created in Pagemaker 5, filled with low-res PICT images, TrueType Fonts or stylized type. Or they could be QuarkXPress files that bulge with 80 images. Perhaps there's no proof with the file. Or maybe fonts are missing. Or they could appear to have silhouetted images, but after closer inspection, you realize that the paths are turned off and the files have been saved in TIFF instead of EPS format. You find yourself asking: What does the advertiser want?
Major work is needed to get a "Poor" ad to work, and possible premium charges can be as much as 50 percent of the ad's cost.
Unacceptable may be a bit of a misnomer, for we never turn away advertising. These ads include those prepared in word processing applications, spreadsheet programs (yes, it can happen) or insufficient graphics applications like Microsoft Publisher, which may be a good design application for small businesses, but hasn't necessarily been designed for high-quality four-color commercial work.