This is The End: Time Inc. Starts Selling Ads on Magazine Covers

As you know from our weekly Cover Battle feature (coming later today), FishbowlNY loves magazine covers. So we’re not exactly thrilled to learn that Time Inc. has started selling ad space on the fronts of Time and Sports Illustrated. You can go ahead and mark May 22, 2014, as the day magazine covers died.

Ad Age explains the placement of the ads:

For now the area devoted to the ads is very small: Subscribers may notice a Verizon logo in the mailing label area, next to the words ‘For Best Results Use Verizon’ and a page number for a traditional ad. Newsstand copies will print the ad by the bar code, although there won’t even be room there for the page number of the interior ad, according to a Time Inc. spokeswoman.

Obviously this is just the beginning. Eventually magazine covers will look like NASCAR cars, completely covered in ads. It’ll be like a fun, sad game — try to figure out what magazine this is!

Not only do the cover ads signify the downfall of the magazine cover, they break the number one ASME guideline, which states “Don’t print ads on covers.” Norman Pearlstine, an ASME board member and Time Inc.’s chief content officer, brushed that to the side. “If we’re not at variance with the principles, then it’s worth having a discussion of whether the guidelines are relevant and still appropriate,” he told Ad Age.

Sure thing, Norman. Every other magazine publisher has had no problem following the almost 100-year-old rule to not print ads on covers, but now that you’ve done it, well maybe the ASME has been wrong all this time!

Hold your favorite magazine covers tightly today dear readers, because their days are numbered.

[Image: Ad Age]