You'd think that a venerable publisher like The Baltimore Sun would be careful about syndicated ad placement above the fold, top right, page one. Oh, that's right, the Sun is a Tribune paper. Maybe that explains it.
This afternoon I went to the Sun's website to check on info about today's Ravens - Bears game and the local TV Listings.
What did I find? A misleading ad block that overpowered every headline on page one.
Maryland "Style" Crab Cakes.
The ad head reads, "Dinner Without the Prep" -- ad subhead, "Choose a Meal for Home Delivery" -- first product listed was, yep, you guessed it: Maryland "Style" Crab Cakes. Here's the ad link photo for the crab cakes.
But wait... Does the above look like any kind of Maryland Crab Cake that you've ever seen? To me, it doesn't look like any kind of crab cake that I've ever seen. It doesn't even look like the cart vendor crab cakes at the Maryland State Fair or from the vendors at ArtScape. That's the package the Sun is selling though. Yum, yum.
Perhaps the crab cakes, offered via the Sun, look strange because they truly are. They're a mail-order thing from the institutional food seller, Schwan's.
On closer inspection of the offering, the crab in these cakes is Blue Swimmer Crab also called a Flower Crab, or Portunus Pelagicus. They are mud crabs from the Pacific, heavily harvested in China and India.
Portunus Pelagicus, is harvested in the regions tagged in red, above. Yep, those puppies will make a true Maryland style crab cake.
When a newspaper is fighting for its very life, perhaps some due diligence is in order. Or, perhaps before adding food ads to page one, the paper should ask their food editor about the rotation.
I'm thinking that Elizabeth Large could have spotted this mess.
I try to protect the reputation of my favorite city... perhaps the Baltimore Sun should, also.