Mark Twain once advised, "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel" (or pixels by the billion, as it were).
Today, though, the old news barons need revenue however they can get it; you're welcome to pick a fight with them, as long as you'll shell out $100,000 or so for a full-page ad in the offending rag.
That was how scorned New York restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow decided to object last week to The New York Times' obviously biased review of his new, horrific, ninja-themed steakhouse from hell, Kobe Club.
Chodorow bought a full-page ad in the Times to run his own retort to the review of his gleaming, soulless eatery. And his logic was airtight: Three other reviewers had actually liked the place, so how, oh how, could Times critic Frank Bruni fail to give any stars to the garish meat palace?
"I was surprised, but not shocked," wrote Chodorow demurely, going on to note that Bruni is an ignorant hack who thrives on throwing innocent restaurant workers out of their jobs. And he wrapped up by announcing that he will be starting his own food blog, yet another competitor for the mainstream media.
The issue here is not whether this disgusting monument to decadence is a good restaurant, for dogs or humans or whatever. The issue is whether a huge, whiny ad is the best way to dispute a bad review. Because with the money from that ad, the Times can pay Bruni's salary for another year.
PR Play rating
3. On the right track