When is a custom published magazine not a custom published magazine?

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.)

  • Kevin Dugan

    Custom publishing is king. particularly in b to b circles where you have an average of 6 folks in one company involved in the sale. we call it considered purchases or complex selling.

    my boss used to say if you make a bad consumer purchase, let’s say you buy the wrong tube of toothpaste, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. if you make the wrong b to b purchase, you could lose your job.

    anyway, what better way to establish a comfort level? we use the medium to show how other companies have used it successfully.

    it does indeed work. watching the bigger brands catch on and do their own versions simply reinforces this fact.

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