I guess he doesn’t “get it”: (Updated: to add link to the 1984 single-advertiser issue of Newsweek) (From Lewis Lazare, advertising columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, about the New Yorker carrying only advertising from Target in this issue) “It can only be described as the most jaw-dropping collapse of the so-called sacred wall between editorial and advertising in modern magazine history. And it happened this week — of all places — at arguably the country’s most prestigious magazine, the New Yorker.”
Observation: Those who have not studied magazine history are doomed to repeat ridiculous observations like that made by Lazare. (I can recall at least one example off the top of my head — in November, 1984 the post-election issue of Newsweek carried only Apple advertising.) Also, if we have to worry that readers of the New Yorker are not sophisticated enough to understand what is and is not advertising, we’ve got a much bigger problem than this issue.
Transparency: I am a fan of New Yorker publisher David Carey and am in awe of how the New Yorker constantly displays — by being open to ideas from advertisers, and by suggesting ideas to advertisers — how creative and powerful an advertising medium a magazine can be, while maintaining the highest quality of writing and journalism one can find in a national consumer publication.
Update: Pith in the Wind and Nashville is Talking are talking about this. From my vantage point, anything that gets people talking about magazine advertising is a good thing. Target and the New Yorker have obviously scored a big coup if non-magazine wonks are kicking this topic around.
Update: Earlier, I didn’t have time to Google that Newsweek single-advertiser issue and, as they don’t have the type of historic archive Time does, I waited until lunch to look. Not only did I find it, I found someone who saved all the ads from the issue. Think about that for a moment. Someone took the time to scan all the ads from a magazine and place it on their website. And they weren’t confused by all that editorial content in it.