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Another Portland Blog

Monday, January 09, 2006

 

Scandal rocks the Portland Tribune's holiday coloring contest!

Last month the family and I drove through PIR's annual holiday light display. On the way in we were handed a goody bag filled with various promotional advertisements and food samples. Among the Capri Sun and oatmeal packets was an entry form for the Portland Tribune's holiday coloring contest.

I was going to toss it but decided to give the contest a go. What can I say? It was an idle Sunday night and "Family Guy" was a repeat. I broke out the colored pencils and got to work adding "flare" to a black and white Santa Claus and his office. Roughly 20 seconds later I had a drawing worthy of an exceptionally gifted toddler or a completely indifferent third grader. I scribbled something obnoxious in a word bubble over Santa's head, put "11" on the age line, wrote my parent's address on the address line and sent it in.

My goal here was merely to have my mini-masterpiece make it into the pages of the Tribune so I could proudly show a copy to everyone I'm speaking terms with while loudly declaring "IN YOUR FACES, LOCAL PRE-ADOLESCENTS! I'VE GOT MAD COLORING SKILLZ!"

Of course, I forgot about the contest almost immediately after dropping the entry form in the mail.




Flash forward three weeks. Copies of the Lake Oswego Review start popping up on my parent's doorstep. Irritated at having to deal with a rain-soaked and unwanted publication, my father calls the Review's circulation department and discovers that his "child" has won a free month's subscription to their paper. Oddly enough, my name isn't on the description, my mother's is.

So this obviously raises a few questions. Like...


- Why is the Tribune handing out free subscriptions to a newspaper as prizes in a children's coloring contest?

- Especially when the publication's previous coloring contests have included prizes like this? Wouldn't shiny new bicycles and/or Chuck E. Cheese coupons be more age appropriate?

- And why a subscription to a crosstown rival's newspaper? As far as I know, Bob Pamplin's local media empire is limited to the Tribune and KPAM. Was this whole contest part of some diabolical plot to...boost their competition's circulation numbers? Did every contestant "win" a month of the Review?

- Why did they put my mother's name on the subscription? Better yet, how did they even find out her name?

- Does all this somehow explain Phil Stanford's recent multi-week absence from the Tribune?

- Don't I have anything better to do than halfheartedly investigate coloring contest conspiracy theories? In light of recent events, the answer should be obvious.

- And, most importantly, did my coloring efforts make the pages of the Tribune? To be honest, I have no idea. I haven't picked up a copy of the paper since the early part of December.


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