Time adds tiny ads on the cover

Ad Age

Two Time Inc. Magazines, Time and Sports Illustrated, have ads on their covers both this week and next, Michael Sebastian reported Thursday for Ad Age. The ads, from Verizon, are pretty small and in the corner near the bottom. Still, it’s a big step for magazines, Sebastian wrote.

The industry’s major players have until now almost entirely resisted pressure to sell cover ads, despite a strong need for new revenue in recent years. That’s partly because ads on covers violate widely-observed guidelines from the American Society of Magazine Editors, but also because most editors believed in those guidelines, which are meant to emphasize and protect editorial independence from marketers.

Sebastian reports that future ads could run across the bottom of the magazines, and the ads come before Time Inc. goes public on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 2011, Poynter wrote about an ad covering the front of the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch. One employee told Jim Romenesko “the news staff is shocked and angry,” but the publisher said people didn’t really seem to care.

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