Marketing rant: Advertising Age is full of crap


No, I don’t mean the insightful content, which I read religiously — I mean the cluttered advertisements that get in the way of the magazine, like the slickly produced but physically obtrusive inserts pictured above. Like a lot of Advertising Age readers, I tuck its issues into my briefcase to read while on my way to someplace else. It’s getting harder to do so with this increasingly bulky magazine. And I cannot remove the inserts without practically destroying an issue of Advertising Age. Advertising Age isn’t the only sinner, but it’s a high-profile example of what it’s like to try and read a magazine these days. It is difficult enough to dodge those subscription cards that always slip out all over my lap (or, if I’m reading in bed, right at my eye like heat seeking missiles). Now we have to wade upstream through obtrusive advertisements. By the way, I would probably read the inserts if they were produced using lighter paper stock.

Where is TiVo for the magazine reading experience?

6 thoughts on “Marketing rant: Advertising Age is full of crap

  1. Do you remember Red Herring and Business 2.0 back in the boom? Those were as thick as an old Sears catalog, all ads. If there\’s a bubble 2.0 indicator, magazine thickness would be one of them.

  2. Magazines ought to think more about user experience – often the result of lots of subtle gestures.

    Here\’s an example from the New Yorker: they don\’t break up stories. Yes, they have less advertising to manage. But they still choose to make it easier for readers to connect with stories. A differentiator that matters at renewal time.

  3. Even though I live online, every once in a while I like to pick up a good old magazine. However, some REALLY go overboard with ads. Unfortunately with so many, each ad loses meaning.

  4. Thank you everyone for weighing in. I think there\’s also something to be said for relevance. I don\’t mind the thick-as-a-brick editions of Vanity Fair and GQ that I receive every month. In fact, I like browsing through the ads to see what today\’s emaciated, heroin-chic models are showing off these days in clothing that I cannot afford but can admire from afar. The difference is that the advertisements are not obtrusive. They perfectly complement the intent of GQ and Vanity Fair, and their high gloss is basically an extension of the content (or is it the other way around?)

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