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Stealth Advertorials In The New York Times?

0131spindel.jpgWhat happens when the New York Times runs a memoir piece that reads like an advertorial?

You get professional matchmaker Janis Spindel‘s ode to finding clients on the road as told to the NYT‘s Joan Raymond.

Memoir or advertorial? Judge for yourself via these excerpts:

I’m not a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company. I’m a professional matchmaker and have been since founding my company in 1993. I deal only with male clients. And on recent trips to Vancouver, Boston, Charlotte and Seattle, more than 1,000 women showed up in each city to meet with me and to see if they qualified to be matched with one of my men.

I’m always scouting for people. I’ve found that airports and airplanes are great hunting grounds. In fact, I met my first boyfriend at an airport. [...]

My clientele are investment bankers, lawyers, professional athletes and entrepreneurs. They are all very successful, fabulous and picky. They know what kind of qualities they want in a woman, and they hire me to find their perfect partner. It often takes me just a week or two to match a client with the right person. My success rate speaks for itself; so does my sixth sense. In the last 15 years, I’ve been responsible for more than 800 marriages and 1,000 more couples have entered into long-term, committed relationships. [...]

My approach is straightforward. First, I’ll check out the ring finger. If there’s no ring, I’ll say something flattering. Of course, a man’s initial thought is that I’m hitting on him. I consider these meetings pre-dates. I can usually find out more about someone in five minutes than most people can in three months. Most men are receptive, though some find it amusing they spent the flight talking to a happily married matchmaker. [...]

So strike up a conversation with someone. You never know. And if you see a woman cruising the airplane aisles, checking you out, don’t be afraid. It’s not the air marshal. It’s probably me.

What do you think? Innocent feature story or stealth advertorial? Let us know.

(Image via Hilary)

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