Monday, August 22, 2005

They've got balls

Red-and-white beach balls to be exact.

The New Yorker's single-sponsor issue hit newsstands today. If you recall, this go-around includes a sole ad buy from Target.

In a New York Times article I cited in a recent post, David Carey, vice president and publisher of The New Yorker, made a point to say that the magazine's editorial integrity was of the utmost importance and so, "Target was not told in advance what the editorial contents or the cover of the issue would be."

Sure, maybe I buy that. But it's hard to believe The New Yorker didn't give the cover's creators the ball and tell them to run with it - so to speak.

And for some reason, I've got an urge to go to shopping for Target-colored, red-and-white beach balls.

16 Comments:

At 8:08 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Funny--it makes me wanna listen to White Stripes CDs....

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous JJones said...

I have an unsual craving for peppermint candy.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Luke said...

OK, TripleJ: so what if the cover's creators WERE given the ball and told to run with it? The cover is NOT editorial...it's advertising...for the editorial within.

Geez! Haven't you learned anything at CS???

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Good point.

My point is that this NYer cover is now an advertisement for the editorial AND the advertisements within.

I am just wondering if the 'cover team' got similar instructions to these (see below) that the ad illustrators got regarding color choices.

"use only the colors 'red and white, for the Target logo, and black.'"

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous JJones said...

Question for TripleJ...

Not being familiar with the New Yorker, why is this issue of particular interest? Many magazines have allowed single advertiser issues in the past. Why, now that the New Yorker is allowing this, is this a big deal?

Just wondering.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Luke said...

I would assume (and yes, I saw that episode of "The Odd Couple" too, so I know what assuming does...) that given the red-and-white beach balls that yes, the cover artists had been given those same orders. And I still don't have an issue with it. Indeed, I would assume that doing a Target-colored cover was part of the ad buy. Cheesy? Absolutely. Ethically challenged? Not to my mind.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

This is the first time in the magazine's 80-year history that they have gone with a sole advertiser.

Here's some of the reasons:

Revenue: Easier to manage, execute and collect on a single 1.1 millon buy

Readership: Less clutter

Marketing: Free hype

I am not oppose to it - even the execution. To me, it is a simple 'do as you say' question I pose.

NYer covers are sacred. I am questioning whether or not they said to use red and white, due directly to Target's involvement, for the beach balls.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Sacred?! Um...if you say so.

I agree your question is of interest, but only for curiousity's sake. As I wrote earlier, I would assume the NYer did indeed use red and white because of Target's involvement. There is no such thing as a coincidence...particularly when $1.1 million is involved (was that the buy?). And assuming that was the impetus, I still don't have a problem with it...other than I'd be a bit embarrassed by the cheese factor. But I wouldn't be bothered by any ethics.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Seldom_Seen ... I am intrigued. Educate me. Can you point out a cover (any major title) that shows of example of this said advertiser influence?

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds of a web site i know that kind of mangles advertising with content to the point where there doesn't seem to be a useful distinction. If I can think of the URL, I'll let you know...

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Although I'm not a sports fan per se, despite my brief tenure as Austin CS Sports Editor, I have a problem with sports venues and even worse sporting events bearing the name of corporations. There's something vile to me about referring to the "Mobil Cotton Bowl." Yes, modern sports is a whore to corporations, but couldn't we at least pretend that they're not?

And don't get me started on corporate America, yuppie assholes, etc....

I think what riles Triple J is that the "New Yorker" has for decades had a reputation as the respected grande dame of American short fiction, and now it looks like she's giving blow-jobs in an alley somewhere to any wino with $2 to spare. (Okay, okay--$1.1 mil is quite a bit more than $2, but the principle is the same.)

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I totally agree with all the sentiments raised by TripleJ and Bankston and others. That said, as someone in the magazine industry, I know what a razor's edge it is these days. Personally, I am distressed at the NYer. But I also know there's nothing sacred (word choice on purpose, given TripleJ's comment) in the industry anymore. Cause or symptom? I'd say the latter, hence my distress at the larger issue as opposed to the trend in publication. But I won't begrudge something like the NYer from a bending of the rules like this in order to survive. On the other hand, I'll vilify plenty of publications out there that whore themselves all over every single issue. I guess I'm choosing the lesser of two evils...which is still evil. But the bigger evil is truly heinous.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Fine points, Seldom_Seen.

And in keeping with the integrity and high moral ground of this publication, I promise another WAIT in the near future.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Damn straight! More T 'n' A, dammit! THAT'S what sells mags! If I could put fill-in-the-blank (Jessica Simpson, Brad Pitt, etc.) on the cover of my magazine, I'd do it every month. Unfortunately, none of them ever come to Alaska. Bastards!

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

On the other hand, Seldom, I would imagine that chilly climate does, er, enhance a few things, n'cest pas?

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Luke said...

And, um, minimizes others, Monsieur Bankston.

 

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