A new and innovative marketing technique?
Hardly. When I started in journalism the front page was always covered in adverts and the news pages didn't start until around page five.
Admittedly that was The Knutsford Guardian, a weekly newspaper in sleepy Cheshire, but even the mighty Manchester Guardian had a full front page of adverts up until 1952. The Times kept them until 1965.
The past had more decorum when it came to reporting the news. A hundred years ago, local newspapers carried court cases and council meetings verbatim. Columns of type were like soldiers, billeted in sections, separated by small headlines that didn't like to intrude. Before television, a newspaper was to be savoured.
When I began my career in journalism in 1958, newspapers still maintained odd Victorian values. My duties would include at least three funerals a week. As well as gaining details of the deceased in advance from the family or undertaker, I would be present to collect the names of the mourners as they entered church for the service. Strange work for an 18-year-old.
This was an easy assignment when there were only a dozen or so mourners, but this was an affluent county area with more than its fair share of the titled and influential.
We would often be commissioned by The Daily Telegraph and The Times to attend funerals which would be so large they were almost unmanageable. On one occasion, two of us stood within the porch of a country church and collected hundreds of names and then, as the service started, we were required to also note the names and dedications on the rows of wreaths and floral tributes that stretched into the next county.
It rained, the ink on the dedications ran, my notebook got soaked and both my pencils broke. But we managed. We had to; they paid us by the line.
Today's journalists don't get training like that anymore.