Reader Russian Roulette

Ever since I let my Wall Street Journal subscription lapse years ago, I have been greeted at the top of each (online) article with a bright notice saying, “To Continue Reading, Subscribe Now.”

Make that almost every article.

To whet readers’ appetite, The Journal occasionally tosses in an unabridged article that’s otherwise only available to paying subscribers (non-subscribers see the headline followed by a Readers Digest-style summary).

The result is a sort of reader “Russian Roulette”:  you don’t know if you’ll get to continue reading an interesting article (yes, The Journal still has those occasionally) until you click on it. 

Tired of that game, I finally took out my credit card the other week and sent my $100 to Rupert Murdoch.

So, what did I see my very next login (and every one since)?

A new solicitation screen encouraging me to “Go Pro:  Upgrade to WSJ Pro.”

Evoking “Parkay” Commercial

If you’re over 40 years old, the ploy will remind you of one of the more memorable ’70’s-era commercials, for Parkay margarine.

Whenever the actor opens a container of Parkway Margarine, it blurts out “butter.”

The  man repeatedly corrects, “Parkay,” but  the (talking) container keeps retorting “butter.”

Finally, the man takes a taste, and is so impressed that he says, “butter.”

At which point, the package says, “Parkay.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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