Solution: Do both

InsightExpress, an online market research company, says a survey they conducted earlier this month reveals Americans greatly prefer dead-tree magazines over digital ones.


Today, less than one in three individuals (32%) read any magazines online as readers cite inconvenience (54%); dislike of online banner ads, pop-ups, and general distractions (47%); prices of online magazines (43%); and eye strain (23%) as the main reasons for staying away from online magazines.

Readers so prefer traditional to online that even of those people who regularly read online magazines, only 22% actually prefer reading magazines online – while 73% expressed that they would not forgo their paper magazine for an online alternative – even for half the price. In fact, while a majority of respondents (63%) currently pay for a traditional magazine subscription – nearly 80% expect online magazines to be free.

The survey was was not all bad news for online magazines, however. According to a press release about the survey, readers believe that online publications provide more timely content (59%) Yet, only 22% perceive that online magazines provide higher quality content than their print versions.

“Though online magazines have an advantage in that they can deliver real-time news and information, they don’t stand a chance when competing for a reader’s undivided attention,” summed up Lee Smith. “Online publications are not the magic bullet publishers were hoping for to retain readership.”

Not so subliminal marketing

No, I’m not having a theme day.

It’s just that magazines aimed at “frisky” young men seem to be in the news today.

Abercrombie & Fitch, whose A&E Quarterly shows the power of custom publishing as dramatically as any relationship marketing effort I know, is the American master of controversy marketing. The company leverages its advertising dollars into publicity millions through its Benetton-lite antics.

Last week, it was the Asians who were boycotting Abercrombie. This week it’s the Illinois State Legislature and a coalition of “save the family” groups. Their gripe with the company? Oh, it’s that custom published magazine, A&E Quarterly, I was mentioning earlier.

It’s seems the current issue of A&E Quarterly is too hot for words (but who reads the words, anyway?). It’s all about sex and and college students. If you’re wondering what’s in the issue, the American Decency Association issued this press release that includes various graphic descriptions of A&E Quarterly content.

Direct Quote:

The following examples epitomize what follows through the first 119 pages of the catalog: Page 2 & 3: nude couple splashing in water — rear nudity, female frontal nudity; page 5: Close up photograph of nude couple, focusing on the girl’s bare breasts, etc.,etc…

All I want to know is how much did Abercrombie & Fitch pay the American Decency Association to issue this? And why isn’t this press release dated April 1?

I hope this is my last post of the day regarding magazines targeting hormonally-elevated young males.

Adweek’s mag of the year seeks its roots


Speaking of Maxim (which is something I continue to say I won’t do), in what has to be the most unusual magazine brand extension strategy ever, the magazine is partnering with Just for Men to launch a “randy” new line of hair coloring products, Maxim Magazine Haircolor. No, really.

My favorite color is “bleach blond.”

Check out this oh-so-hip and relevant ad copy:

Well, we hope you’re sitting down, because we’ve got something new for you…. Maxim Magazine Hair Color. We’ve teamed up with Just For Men® to launch the first Haircare line of it’s kind exclusively for men. Make a change with a new look to score some new lovely ladies. Whether you want highlights, tips, or all over color, we put you in the driver’s seat and give you full control.

And it’s quick and easy, so it won’t take much time away from those things that you really enjoy like all those new Xbox and PS2 games.

We’ve also got some of the best Maxim “how to” tips we’ll make sure you get into clubs, get the girl, and get out of the speeding ticket all with your hot new look.

It’s on sale now – so get ahead of the curve and go directly to the men’s grooming section of your favorite drug stores, food and mass Merchandiser stores. Buy now, you won’t be disappointed!

State of Magazines, II

I Want Media has posted a very interesting interview with Stephen Colvin, the 38-year-old CEO of Dennis Publishing, publisher of Maxim, The Week and others. So scratch that last post of mine: It’s not that magazines are illiterate, it’s that they’re contrived:


“There are too many magazines, and that makes people think the industry is a mess. But there are a lot of magazines in very good health. Obviously, newsstand is difficult because of the low sell-throughs that most magazines experience. There is too much reliance on advertising revenue, which means that publishers quite naturally are very concerned about delivering the product the advertisers want. But overall, the business is pretty healthy with a lot of publishers making good money from core titles. We just need less contrived magazines.”