Murdoch Apologizes to Britain in Full-Page Ad in Every Newspaper

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Sang Tan / AP

A newspaper shows the advertisement apology for News International at a news vendor in central London, Saturday, July 16, 2011.

British newspaper readers were greeted by a simple but bold apology as they flipped through the morning headlines.

In a letter placed by News International and donning the signature – and tone – of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, News of the World apologized for its wrongdoing and pledged to go forward with a new (albeit unmentioned) mission.

The apology came in the form of nine short sentences in which Murdoch and the News of the World atones for the paper’s errors. “We are sorry,” the apology starts out, splayed across the page in a font even the most near-sighted person would be able to read. Published in seven major national papers, including both Murdoch-owned properties the Sun and the Times, News Corp. made it clear they were looking to reach as many Brits as possible with their message of atonement. They found space for the ad in pages of all calibers of newspaper, too, from the middle-of-the-road Daily Mail to the upmarket Financial Times.

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The generously generic letter leaves out many of the specific details of the accusations against the paper, but Murdoch apologizes for the “hurt suffered by the individuals” and for “serious wrongdoing.” However, the straightforward tone actually works in the company’s favor, cutting through much of the clutter and hypotheticals of the situation. Indeed, the plain and simple text makes it clear that the top brass of News International and News Corp. is facing major pangs of guilt and looking to once again make their name a respected one.

The public apology is, without a shade of doubt, a publicist-recommended move that will help the company move past the allegations. Will Britain accept it?

See the ad’s full text below.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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