chapter 9 magazines

chapter 9 magazines - Nearly all consumer magazines depend...

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1 Nearly all consumer magazines depend on advertising. In fact, the U.S. consumer economy, for better or worse, owes part of its great growth to the consumer magazine industry, which has both chronicled and advertised consumable lifestyles and products for more than a century. Throughout that time, magazine pages have generally maintained an even balance of about 50 percent editorial content and 50 percent ad copy. But now, for fashion magazines in particular, the line between editorial content and advertising is becoming increasingly less important. Some new magazines have gone even further than using shorter chunks of editorial material to engage readers and “show them how to buy products.” For these new “shopper” magazines, the whole point is buying products. The magazines feature traditional display ads and editorial content that is also an advertisement. With their breakdown of the firewall between editorial and advertising copy, shopper magazines read almost like glossy specialty store catalogues (sometimes called “magalogs”), such as those from J. Crew (fashion), Williams-Sonoma (cooking), and Ikea (furnishings), which mix narratives and beautiful photos or illustrations with the items they are trying to sell. At the other end of the spectrum are those magazines that shun ad copy in order to preserve editorial independence. In the world of consumer buying guides, for example, Consumer Reports (with a circulation larger than Lucky and Domino combined) accepts no advertising so that it can maintain its integrity as a consumer product testing center. Cook’s Illustrated magazine operates the same way, accepting no advertising so that it can be an unbiased evaluator of recipes, pantry foods, kitchen equipment, and cookware.
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