According to a poll on Foliomag.com from May 15 to May 20, 51 per cent of respondents believe any form of cover advertisement is a violation of editorial ethics. However, 46 per cent think cover ads are a legitemate business opportunity, while 3 per cent aren't sure.
On the consumer magazine landscape a flurry of highly public cover ads burst on the scene in recent months as a result of declining advertising within the editorial sectors. In the USA, ESPN the Magazine featured a Gatorade ad flap that partly obscured the cover of its baseball preview issue; Scholastic Parent & Child featured a cover ad for a company called Smilebox that appeared in the lower right corner with the label "advertisement" in small type; US Weekly, which ran a mock cover on its April 20 issue as part of a five-page ad for HBO's Grey Gardens and Esquire, which featured a cover "window" that opened to an ad.
Cover ads aren't just a phenomenon among the large consumer magazines. B2B magazines are feeling the pinch too and are opening up their covers to advertisers - often without attracting the same level of scrutiny.
B2B publishers are maximising their cover potential accross their magazine stable. Several publishers told Publishing Edge that their sales teams are creating unique selling propositions based on a variety of cover treatments. One publisher recently used special effects in print design working with finishing house Allkotes to provide a special scratch-and-sniff application. Publishers have also utilised Allkotes for a number of special laminate effects.
Darren Delaney of Allkotes told Publishing Edge that the downturn in advertising revenue can be offset by generating income through more creativity when it comes to cover designs as well as gatefold opportunities. Allkotes is working with many publishers direct providing them with some cost effective alternatives which 'beefs up' according to Delaney "the ability to drive more revenue for this prime location viewed, touched and in some instances sniffed by all recipients of the magazine".
Publications embracing special cover effects working with Allkotes incude Luxury Travel Magazine, Health & Beauty, BMW Magazine, Subaru Magazine and Wine Selector to name a few.
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