UnNews:The Onion's business plan undone by Esc button

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3 October 2012

OnionPayScreen

Enticing: But the screen is thought to have generated just $11.80 for the website.

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Notorious satire page The Onion faces bankruptcy after its CEO, precocious 16 year old Asian boy Reggie Cunningham, revealed that their plan to make its users pay $2.95 a month for passably funny articles had failed due to internet users knowing how to use the Escape Key.

Cunningham said, "The idea was that once users passed a certain limit of how many pages they had read, an annoying pop up would swarm all over their screen demanding money like a fat mobster. The problem is, our target market is sassy, internet-literate 13-45 year olds without girlfriends, almost all of whom know that, if you press escape as soon as the rib-tickling article or chucklesome picture comes up, the pop-up is stopped in its tracks."

When asked if it wouldn't make more sense to have some kind of monolithic screen that the average eighth grader couldn't find his way around, Cunningham replied, "Yeah, but I like the prick-tease element of our screen. If they don't know how to use the escape key, you can almost see the goodies, but not quite. And you have to pay!" When pressed further on how many people actually had been forced to pay by the scheme, Cunningham would not be drawn on specific numbers, but gave a ballpark figure of "Four."

Readers of The Onion were asked if they felt justified in dodging fees in this way. One, who looked Pakistani, said something moronic; another, a middle-aged woman with greying fair hair, said something callous; and a third, a business-type with a neat haircut and patterned tie, said something biting and satirical.

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