When is a “Magazine” not a magazine?

buy cover
Cover says magazine.
buy inside
But inside says catalog.

Okay, last week, I defended Brand Jordan Magazine (at least until I see it) and its potential for being viewed as a quality product by its readers and an effective brand-building, product-pushing vehicle. My suggested benchmark for Nike was A&F Quarterly.

Today, however, I received a customer magazine from buy.com that is clearly NOT a magazine eventhough it says it is.

It’s a direct-mail catalog from an e-commerce site. It may be a good marketing decision for buy.com to utilize direct mail to their database of previous customers (especially, since many of them probably think the company is out of business). And it looks like they’re using the format to capture some co-op ad dollars (instead of diverting those dollars to other media).

I think the concept may be sound, but the execution is NOT a magazine. So, don’t call it a magazine. A&F Quarterly is a magazine. Buy.com magazine is a catalog.