The very first editorial guideline from the American Society of Magazine Editors is “Don’t Print Ads on Covers.” Seems pretty straightforward. And yet Marie Claire has decided that there’s some room for interoperation there. The magazine’s subscribers will receive the April issue with one giant ad on the cover.
The ad was purchased by Stuart Weitzman and will be seen by all 877,000 Marie Claire subscribers. The Marie Claire on newsstands features Kerry Washington on the cover.
At least the Weitzman ad is nice looking. However, don’t be fooled — we are steadily approaching the day when magazine covers are much more NASCAR and much less art. Ads on ads on ads on ads.
Time placed a tiny ad on its cover in May. Forbes then took things a bit farther with a sponsored ad on the front. Marie Claire threw two middle fingers in the air, said “F*ck it all,” and made the entire damn thing an ad.
As for that ASME guideline? Marie Claire editor Anne Fulenwider issued a Kanye shrug. “Before we did this cover, we read through the guidelines of ASME, and we felt we were in the clear” she told WWD. Huh.