When is a custom published magazine not a custom published magazine? From reading this NYT story by David Carr, we think a single-sponsored, self-contained magazine with the Zagat brand on it that is produced and distributed as an outsert by Hearst may not get labeled a “custom published” magazine. No doubt, my contention that this is a custom magazine will be rejected by some, but this duck quacks like a custom magazine whatever one calls it. No matter. It is a great idea. And it will work. And it’s brilliant.
Cadillac will have seven pages to market its STS car to well-heeled consumers drawn from the subscriber lists of seven Hearst magazines: Esquire; Harper’s Bazaar; O, the Oprah magazine; House Beautiful, SmartMoney; Town & Country; and Veranda. Executives of Hearst and Zagat said that Cadillac does not have any editorial input. The magazine will not be sold on newsstands….The magazine…is designed to serve a marketing function, albeit for a single client.
For the record, this is not a new concept. I don’t have the time to retell the history of custom published magazines delivered as an outsert, but believe me, it’s been done. And it’s a great idea. And I believe it should be done more often. (Disclosure: If you showed up here expective an objective opinion on this, then there’s something you need to know about this blogger.)