May 22, 2014 Last Updated 9:06 am

Time Inc. to sell cover ads, journalists go apoplectic over minuscule ads near reader address

Time Inc. magazines will apparently sell out to the advertising department and ruin the world of journalism as we know it. Or that is what some media writers seem to be saying. They really need to get a life.

AdAge and others are reporting that Time Inc. will start putting small teaser ads on the bottom of its magazine covers, just below where the read address sticker goes. It is, apparently, the end of the world.

Unknown“The ads are tiny, but their arrival puts a big crack in the longstanding tradition that kept ads off magazine covers,” Michael Sebastian of AdAge writes.

Yep, the slippery slope argument. Magazines have never used their covers in a commercial fashion before (apparently) so this is a big thing.

Newspapers have long put small ads on their front pages, and magazines regularly use their covers drive single copy sales. Apparently there is a difference between the editorial department selling out and the ad department, which really is in charge of driving revenue, doing it.

Putting Beyoncé or Kate Moss on your cover simply to drive sales is fine, putting a microscopic line of copy that refers the reader to an ad page inside is heresy.

I think I need a drink.

Note: the “cover” of this week’s AdAge is entirely an ad for theTradeDesk – the entire cover. It’s called a cover wrap, and it has been done for years, and I never hear journalists complain about them because it’s just business as usual.

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