May 10, 2010

Advertorials and Editorial Independence

Since high school, I've always loved reading Nylon magazine, which has great fashion news, interesting profiles, and a young and fun take on fashion. As an independent magazine, I've always heard that it is run on a small budget and features the work of up-and-coming stylists and writers, some of whom contribute for free in exchange for the opportunity. Yet, I was still shocked by the plethora of advertorials in the April issue, which I just recently read.
The above advertisement for Nixon, for example (a regular Nylon advertiser), looks almost identical to the surrounding fashion editorial stories in the magazine. Styled by Nylon's own Style Director, the ad is laid out in the exact same way as the magazine's content, in the same fonts and with identical credit formats, making it very challenging for the casual reader to discern its advertorial roots.

I understand that today's economic climate is extremely tough on magazines, and that value-added advertising programs are important; however, as a reader and industry professional I wonder how far the line can be stretched without affecting the integrity of one's perceived editorial independence.

No comments: