April 7th, 2009
Magazines Blur Line Between Ad and Article
By Stephanie Clifford
The New York Times
If the separation between magazines’ editorial and advertising sides was once a gulf, it is now diminished to the size of a sidewalk crack.
Recent issues of Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Time, People, ESPN the Magazine, Scholastic Parent & Child and other magazines have woven in advertisers in new ways, some going as far as putting ads on their covers.
“Everyone has to be able to tell the difference between advertising and editorial, and if you can’t tell there’s a difference, there’s a problem,” said Sid Holt, chief executive of the American Society of Magazine Editors. But in this recession, when magazines are losing advertisers, the lines between advertising and editorial content are blurring — with few repercussions from the society.