I hid the words so that the full effect of the graphic was evident, then I asked approximately 15 people I ran into during an average workday what type of magazine this is. The by far most common answers were women’s beauty and young men’s (e.g. Maxim, Stuff) magazines. The next most common was was sports/fitness.
Do I need to specifically tell you, dear reader, that I don’t subscribe to beauty, young men’s, or sprots/fitness magazines? Well, I don’t.
Look at these two covers. If I paid you money for your honesty, would you ever in one million years have said that these two magazines were competitors?
I thought not.
Now, let’s look at these covers side-by-side with just the words applying to the main cover story of each showing:
Seriously, Editors: What are you, 13?
The first magazine has been doing this for the last several years. At first, the change was minor and could have been considered more “modern.” Then it ramped up in both frequency and audacity. After the leathered-up dominatrix with a whip (!) cover, I really blew my stack. I wrote an angry letter, and many other readers did, too. I was filled with sister-love when I read their outraged comments. I felt vindicated and justified and not, as I feared, a bit too prudish for the 21st Century.
Then the magazine e-mailed me an invitation to participate in an online focus group for an upcoming cover . . . Finally! I could do something about this misplaced appeal-to-the-masses garbage! I was so excited and mission-oriented as I clicked the link . . .
Yeah, all of the covers they provided for us to choose from were already inappropriately sexed-up. There wasn’t a realistic or even non-laughable picture to be had, so I chose the least offensive one. Of course, that one didn’t make it to my mailbox. I guess that’s what focus groups are all about — the least common denominator.
This last cover is my last straw. I hereby refuse to renew my subscription to this magazine, and I’m pissed off at this point that I renewed for two full years last time. I’ve actually enjoyed its competitor more over the years, anyway. It’s brainier and not trying to break into the god-awful beauty magazine industry.