The first horror is that John Travolta watch ad.
In common with most papers, the Telegraph sells advertising on a different grid to that used by editorial. This is all very well with full-width flat ads or with the quarter pagers, as seen on the left-hand side of this spread.
These 25x4 ads equal 25x3s on the six-column editorial grid, so even if there were only one, it would be easily accommodated without changing the editorial column width.
The Breitling monstrosity is a six-column ad, which leaves two skinny columns for the journalists to play with. If it were set bottom right, as convention dictates, the remaining space could be used as one wider-than-usual column to accommodate briefs, a diary or picture story (inadvisable against such a dominant image).
But here we have another example of the advertiser managing to dominate the page without paying the space rate for the privilege. The positioning of the ad - it is deeper than the editorial space either above or below - disrupts the flow of the entire spread and makes engaging editorial design virtually impossible.
Peter Oborne alleged in his resignation blog that commercial interests ruled at the Telegraph, but the placing of this ad on page 13 suggests that someone at the paper might have put up a fight. Designer watch ads tend to be on very early right-handers. This is way back for Breitling, so maybe it was exiled to foreign as a punishment for its ugliness.
Then there are the journalistic howlers. How did anyone think it a good idea to have a standalone picture of the Clooneys larking about on the same page as the drowning of 700 people? It's a charming enough photograph, but it has no news value and is certainly not necessary as a text breaker, what with the ferry pictures and Travolta and all. There would have been no shame in having three double-column text-only stories in a row at the foot of the page. (Incidentally, why is the Sarkozy story set ragged right? There is no typographical or editorial reason for it, as there might be were it a piece of commentary or analysis.)
[To think that I used to look enviously at the acres of space the Telegraph had to play with, compared with our squeezed Times pages!]
Another problem with the spread is the choice of photographs. With no live "at sea" pictures available, the main image is a Massimo Sestini picture of refugees packed into an Italian rescue boat off the African coast on June 8 last year - when the Mare Nostrum force was still operating. This is wrongly described in as "Migrants on a vessel attempting to cross the Mediterranean last year." The banality of the remainder of the caption - "an officer studies a monitor showing the search operation; and a rescue ship and helicopter" - is a demonstration not only of unimaginative subbing but of the lack of value of the two subsidiary pictures. Neither picture adds anything to the package and both should have been dumped.
Below is one interpretation of how the spread might have worked better by dropping the three pictures. There is more room for Isil and space for an extra story at the bottom - which could be used for Greece if there were another text element for the boat people. There are obviously many permutations, and even more if a different main picture were chosen. But the main objective here is to get the story and commentary closer together.
And in that the Telegraph failed.