Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daily Telegraph Misdirects Readers To Liberal Website

With less than three weeks to go until the 2013 Federal Election, we've already seen a lot of attack-dog tactics from both of the major parties… yet nothing they've done has managed to top the blatant electioneering of Rupert Murdoch's Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph. Photo-shopping Kevin Rudd into a bank robber or a comical Nazi, misrepresenting him and his policies with hysterical “gotcha” headlines and lightweight articles, their tactics have been heavy-handed and blunt.

But now, they’re getting subtle.

Unsurprisingly, the Liberal Party is advertising heavily on the Daily Telegraph website. Every second or third story has the Liberal “choose real change” ad in a banner across the top of the page, as well as a second ad placed next to the body of the story.

But the Daily Telegraph (like most of Murdoch’s News Ltd publications” is pay-walled. And when someone like me, who doesn't want to stump up the cash for the privilege of reading obviously and unapologetically biased fluff, ends up on their website, I get a “please register” pop-up.

Now, normally I just close the pop-up (by clicking on the “X”) and scroll through the rest of the page to see if there’s anything else of interest. Not everything is behind the paywall, after all.

And this is where it gets interesting.

When the story has a Liberal Party ad, closing the paywall pop-up actually opens the Liberal Party website in a new window.

Oh sure, you might say. It’s a mistake, clicking on the “X” must accidentally translate to a click on the ad behind the “X”.

Problem with this, is that when the story has any other kind of ad, closing the paywall pop-up does just that: closes the pop-up window. Nothing else.

The ONLY ad that is triggered by closing the paywall pop-up is the Liberal Party ad.

Try it for yourself.