Following a MediaPost Real Media Riff's column that roasted Ad Age for an editorial cover wrap attached to 1,000 copies of the magazine distributed at ad:tech in early November, Ad Age's Rance Crain, today, offers up a mea culpa and apologizes for what MediaPost deemed a serious ad/edit line crosser. Apparently unbeknownst to the magazine's management, including Crain and Editor Scott Donaton, a last minute deal was struck between someone at Ad Age and a company called SpecificMEDIA to adhere a front page cover wrap that appeared to look like news content and distribute it at ad:tech. Crain writes David Klein, publishing and editorial director of the Ad Age Group, sent an email to the magazine's staff stating, among other things, the publications credibility had been damaged by the wrap. Crain also makes no excuses for misjudgment.
In a nod to an American Business Media "Editorial Integrity: Under Assault?" panel Crain moderated last week, he noted readers have increased protection from "overzealous advertisers" by blogs and other journalists who will call out moves such as this cover wrap debacle. It's encouraging that Ad Age chose to publicly deal with this issues as it could very easily have simply swept it under the rug and moved on. Welcome to the conversation, Ad Age.
Of course, the edit has been fixed now, but some rogue Yahoo edit-bot saw fit to remove Vice President Cheney's first name from a Gawker Media Wonkette post that appeared on Yahoo as part of a recent content deal because Yahoo thought Wonkette was talking about another sort of Dick. We wonder if Yahoo, knowing Gawker Media's propensity to tell it like it is, slapped a filter on the deal so as to circumvent any nasty words finding their way onto its precious pages. Well, just like contextual advertising gone haywire during natural disasters, it appears bots can't handle dick the way humans can.
Next week's Sporting News sure looks interesting as indicated by this front cover image sent to us with a note speculating its roots: "Perhaps it has something to do with Sporting News general manager Jim Borth formerly being the head of circulation at Dennis Publishing." Perhaps, indeed.
While out and about at favorite "preferred divey Chinatown karaoke bar, Winnies, Gawker spotted a bit of bathroom stall commentary on recently launched OK Magazine that, we're sure, the publisher won't be too happy to see.
Joe Jaffe has coined the term, "UNM2PNM," which stands for "Use New Marketing to Prove New Marketing." Jaffe's manifestation of that term consists of promising a free copy of his new book, Life After The 30-Second Spot, to anyone who promises to review it. Each week, Jaffe will summarize the progress of the project with short notations on who has requested the book and what they've said about it.
Some might call it self-promotion but it's not. It's simply placing the product, his book, in front of an audience who can influence others to buy it therefore making his writing efforts pay off. After all, when a writer spends a few months or a year writing something, some income might be nice. It's no different than a large company spending years an millions in R&D. There's an expectation there will be a payoff. In Joe's case, that payoff may be money or it may be more exposure in the industry which might lead to more consulting work.
We've read half of Joe's book so far, which we received well in advance of this current promotional effort and we can say we like it so far. Joe has done a nice job summarizing the current state of the industry and why the :30 spot, in its current form, is a losing proposition. The latter half of the book promises ten approaches marketers can use to survive in our rapidly changing world of advertising. We promise a full review when we've finished the book.
Ad Age has joined the world of weblogs with the launch of Small Agency Diary, a blog written by McKee Wallwork Cleveland Creative Director Bary Cleveland. The blog, as its name indicates, will focus on the working of small agency business with Cleveland writing in is first post, "This blog is for the future of creativity in our industry. For if that future is to be one of creative excellence it lies in the hands of small agencies." A bold statement indeed.
It seems Ad Age has plans for other topical blogs as well indicated by a Diaries pulldown menu on the front page. Welcome big guy.
The honesty in circulation crackdown the federal government launched has nabbed yet another lying publisher. Edward D. Brown, president and publisher of Bedford Communications, publisher of Laptop magazine, and Director of Circulation John Jay Annis were caught dumping 15,000 copies of Laptop on a distributor that would never distribute them. That's because the distributor was actually an undercover operation set up by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just to catch crooked publishers. Brown told the distributor he didn't care what happened to the 15,000 magazines as long as there was a paper trail that would make everything look legal. Arrest warrants have been issued for Brown and Annis.
Online publisher Lulu has announced the Lulu Blooker prize, awarded in three categories, to the person who submits the best "blook," a book based on the contents of a weblog. The contest, which offers a $2,000 brand prize, will be judged by big-time blogger Cory Doctrow, Slashdot's Robin Miller and ibiblio's Paul Jones. Unfortunately, while latching on to the term "blook" as if they owned it, Lulu neglected to mention either Jeff Jarvis, who coined the term, or Tony Pierce, who wrote the first blook which is just typical of entities cashing in on culturati, trends and memes.
Madonna's done her fair share of lip syncing for sure but she must have truly broken an actual vocal chord when she heard Blender Magazine decided to feature famed lip-syncer Ashlee Simpson instead of her on magazine's December cover. Apparently, Madonna was supposed to appear on the cover but the publisher dropped her in favor of Simpson. Blender won't comment but we're pretty sure the magazine is simply adhering to the "young trumps old" publishing maxim.
Madonna's handler downplayed the situation saying, "She's too busy healing from her horse-riding accident. I was talking to several publications, including Blender. Trust me, you'll see plenty of Madonna in the weeks to come." As for Simpson, we bet she's jumping for joy. She needs all the positive exposure she can get after that SNL incident.
With all the recent examination of circulation's underbelly, one wonders whether circulation rules and loopholes are becoming more rampant that tax law. Time Inc. has been subpoenaed to turn over information about its sponsored sales programs under which the publisher can sell subscriptions to sponsors for as little as one cent an issue. Those paid subscriptions, which end up distributed in public spaces, are noted by Time as paid subscriptions which help up the publisher's rate base. Time has decided to re-qualify these as "qualified" on its ABC Publisher Statements which will move about five percent of the publisher's circulation out of the paid category.