Product placement: I’ll be commenting later today about this article in Advertising Age about how advertisers are trying to influence the editorial decisions of magazines (is this new?) and how magazines are agreeing to do so (is this new?).
“More advertisers ask us to blur the lines between advertising and editorial,” said Nina Lawrence, president of Conde Nast’s Bridal Group and publisher of Bride’s and Modern Bride. “It’s accelerated in the last year.” Ms. Lawrence placed the blame for this squarely on branded-entertainment deals: “Advertisers are asking for what they want on TV, and they’re getting it.”
It may not be only advertisers seeking such deals. Peter Gardiner, partner and chief marketing officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch, said his company was approached by a magazine with an editorial concept worked around one of his clients. “It’s a really tricky area,” he said.
Concerns over this point led one incoming editor of a midsize endemic magazine to write into an employment contract a clause stating that the magazine must strictly observe guidelines governing the separation of advertising and editorial set down by watchdog group the American Society of Magazine Editors, said an executive familiar with the matter.