Accocording to the August PIB numbers, those thicker consumer magazines were not just an optical illusion.
Quote from PIB press release:
(New York, September 9 , 2002) Total magazine advertising revenue for the month of August increased 2.7% compared to August of last year, closing at $1,071,446,001, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB). Ad pages for August totaled 14,498, down 5.8 % from last year. Year-to-date, advertising revenue closed at $9,904,147,271, a 0.0% change, and ad pages were 135,105, down 8.3% over the same time period last year.