According to Women’s Wear Daily, the tween heartthrob’s February cover of Vanity Fair is on track to become the magazine’s worst-selling issue in nearly 12 years and one of the top three worst sellers for the publication since Graydon Carter took over as editor-in-chief in 1992.
Data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Rapid Report shows that Bieber’s cover has sold just 246,000 copies—meaning that he’s Vanity Fair’s biggest bomb since a July 1999 cover featuring Will Smith, which sold 202,701 copies at newsstands. Through May, the magazine is down about 5 percent at the newsstand, averaging 342,000 sales an issue, according to ABC’s Rapid Report. (Rapid Report data is submitted directly by publishers and has yet to be audited by ABC, so it could be adjusted slightly.)
Of course, Vanity Fair isn’t exactly a teenybopper destination—but it turns out that Bieber has spelled bad news for other, younger-skewing publications, too. His October 2010 Teen Vogue cover sold 121,054 issues, roughly 12 percent below the magazine’s 2010 average, according to ABC data, and his April 2010 cover of People sold just 961,762 copies—a 25 percent dip below average sales and the third worst seller for the weekly all of last year.
As for Bieber’s Vanity Fair disappointment, a spokeswoman for the magazine said, “Who knew 12-year-olds didn’t buy magazines?”