1Nearly all consumermagazines depend onadvertising. In fact, the U.S.consumer economy, for betteror worse, owes part of itsgreat growth to the consumermagazine industry, which hasboth chronicled andadvertised consumablelifestyles and products formore than a century.Throughout that time,magazine pages havegenerally maintained an evenbalance of about 50 percenteditorial content and 50percent ad copy.But now, for fashionmagazines in particular, theline between editorial contentand advertising is becomingincreasingly less important.Some new magazines havegone even further than usingshorter chunks of editorialmaterial to engage readersand “show them how to buyproducts.” For these new“shopper” magazines, thewhole point is buyingproducts. The magazinesfeature traditional display adsand editorial content that isalso an advertisement.With their breakdown of the firewallbetween editorial and advertisingcopy, shopper magazines readalmost like glossy specialty storecatalogues (sometimes called“magalogs”), such as those from J.Crew (fashion), Williams-Sonoma(cooking), and Ikea (furnishings),which mix narratives and beautifulphotos or illustrations with the itemsthey are trying to sell.At the other end of thespectrum are those magazinesthat shun ad copy in order topreserve editorialindependence. In the world ofconsumer buying guides, forexample,Consumer Reports(with a circulation larger thanLuckyandDominocombined)accepts no advertising so thatit can maintain its integrity as aconsumer product testingcenter.Cook’s Illustratedmagazine operates the sameway, accepting no advertisingso that it can be an unbiasedevaluator of recipes, pantryfoods, kitchen equipment, andcookware.
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