I haven’t seen the magazine, but NYTimes.com is reporting (and I really like the little video that demonstrates what a photo can’t) that the February issue of Esquire has a small advertiser-sponsored “editorial promo” mini-mag bound to the center of the cover.
It almost feels like a time-warp reading such a long story discussing what may or may-not be appropriate advertising on the cover of a magazine. Once upon a time, such things as cover wraps or advertising cover gatefolds seemed to be important things to battle over in regards to editorial ethics and integrity.
But when the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have ads on their front pages, articles appearing in them fizzle at being a platform from which to launch a debate over what a media company should or shouldn’t do to generate revenue these days.
Also, as I’m bombarded with arguments that “print is dead” because the web is killing it, I enjoy the nostalgia of pretending it matters what Esquire does on its cover. But I don’t miss the irony when the NYTimes.com website I read the story on has a 15 second interstitial ad I must watch or explicitly skip (does anyone actually watch them?) to get through to the story.
Frankly, if Esquire can get an advertiser to pony up $250,000 for a cover flap ad, then I salute them.
I’m just glad it’s not blinking.