Like a lot of people I know, I think Nylon is a nice magazine. It features things I actually like rather than raving on about the latest film installment of Twilight and throwing an onslaught of “relationship guidance” at its readers. Plus it uses really great colors.
However, there’s one thing about Nylon that I’m not too enthusiastic about – its advertising strategy. I’m not saying that Nylon is the only magazine that does things like this, because I’ve definitely seen this practiced in other magazines, but at times, it is pretty difficult to discern the qualities of certain advertisements that make them stand out from Nylon’s editorial content.
I’ve noticed that Nylon tends to “team up” with several of its advertisers, and I don’t really think that’s ethical. This particular genre of Nylon ads looks just like its editorial content – this is especially true for clothing and beauty ads. The layout is exactly the same. The font type and size are the same. The only differences I can see are that these ads don’t have a page number in the corner – instead, there will be a logo for the advertised product. But, you know, it’s not exactly a large font size. Then, of course, there’s the top corner of the page that says “ADVERTISEMENT: NYLON X [BRAND].” Is it really okay for magazines to have an ad saying, “here’s an advertisement for a product, and we’ve even decide to advertise that we advertise this product.” That can’t be ethical, can it?
But wait, there’s more. Sometimes these ads have even more traits of Nylon’s editorial content. For example, page 75 of Nylon’s November issue is an advertisement for Popchips – you know, those chips that Katy Perry endorses – that features interviews from three different musicians. Aside from the final question – “what’s your favorite tortilla Popchips flavor?” – nothing about these interviews has anything to do with the ad. They’re all about these peoples’ music careers. These interviews might as well be editorial content. And I mean, yeah, this ad does help the musicians get publicity, but at the same time, Nylon is getting paid to run this content since it’s an advertisement. I just feel like that’s such a cop-out.
Is this ethical? Because it really doesn’t seem like it. And if it isn’t, then why isn’t anybody doing anything about it?