Different visions, but similar ad headaches

What do Blender and Ms. have in common? They’re sharing the same bikini/hot-tub cover for their jointly produced “Summer Fling” issues. Just kidding. Both mags are involved in ad flaps. Blender stands accused of crossing the line between advertising and editorial in its “2008 Rock & Roll User’s Guide,” which I strongly suspect was not penned by Bob Woodward and probably didn’t require a whole lot of ethical vetting. Meanwhile, Ms. sought to sidestep a political “firestorm” by rejecting a full-page ad by the American Jewish Congress that features three prominent Israeli women. Needless to say, its refusal to run the piece has ignited the very “firestorm” it hoped to avoid. That’s how bad it’s gotten in the print-publishing game these days: You’re damned if you run the ads, and you’re damned if you don’t. My point: for the publicity alone, a “Summer Fling” team-up is the way to go.

—Posted by David Gianatasio