Charity: The New Status Symbol?

Billionaire, the magazine for the super-rich, pledges $1 million to charity

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From Bloomberg Pursuits to Du Jour, 2012 has been the year of the 1 percent publication. So how does an upstart set itself apart from this luxury pack? One tactic: take advantage of the fact that giving—not just buying—is the newest status symbol.

Billionaire, a new website and biannual magazine for the super-rich (as opposed to Good, the erstwhile magazine that aimed at young, earnest do-gooders), puts a heavy emphasis on philanthropy. One-third of the content (ranging from taxidermy appreciation to “the pitfalls of inherited wealth”) is about worthy causes, while the company pledged $1 million to charity.

Meanwhile, capitalist bible Forbes put a philanthropic spin on its Forbes 400 List and added a charity channel to Readers are into it, said Forbes editor Randall Lane. “If you inherited your money, there’s a pressure to show that you’re a good citizen of the world,” he said. “And if you made your money, you want to use your entrepreneurial skills to tackle global problems.”

Of course, there’s also the hope of attracting advertisers looking to boost their own charitable cred. “Over the last three or four years, high-level executives from luxury brands have repeated to me over and over that [philanthropy] was becoming more important to them and to their customers,” said Christian Barker, CEO, editor in chief of 

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.