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Fishing Mags and the mighty $$$

2479 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Davey G
I've just read the latest copy of Fishing World and I've noticed it happening more and more.

Is this ethically right? Are anglers getting unbiased and impartial information that help them improve thier fishing or are they being indirectly led to buy the featured product?

This months examples:

Pages #8-12 - New Age Lizards, Four page feature article with numereous mentions and images of Berkeley Gulp and The Berkeley Gulp 3' Pogy by David Green
Page #31 - Full page ad for Berkeley Gulp
Page #44 - Rigging Softies Right, two mentions of Berkeley Gulp by Mark Phillips
Page #46 - Bait or Lure? 2 page feature article by David Green promoting Berkeley Gulp
Page #94 - 1/2 page New products category, Berkely Gulp 3" Pogy by David Green and a Berkeley Gulp competition.

One thing is certain, somebody has a lot of real estate this month! Does David Green have a professional affiliation with the distributor of the product? Was this feature article written as part of an advertising package or is it a strange coincidence that Gulp is the product in focus this month?

Whatever! Who cares as long as the writer/ publication inform the reader.
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'Over here' marketing has permeated just about everthing, including fishing. Just call me skeptical.
5thofNovember said:
I've worked as a journalist and editor for about 10 years, and part of that was as a stint as an editor for an outdoors rec mag. I can speak with a bit of authority on this subject and I'm not happy to say that yes, it is as it appears.

I do think the problem has worsened over time, even if it has been with us for a long time. This is due to the emergence of the Internet, which has resulted in much tougher times for print publications. To be honest, Im surprised that there's as many fishing mags as there is. I haven't picked one up for some years.

The problem of editorial integrity lies largely with advertizing sales staff, who have no idea what the word integrity means. Desperate to rack up sales (the pressure is on, believe me) they'll say almost anything to get a company to sign up for advertizing (this happens on web publications as well mind you, but no where near as much). In any publication where you see favorable comment about specific products in an article or review, 9.5 times out of 10 you can bet a weeks wages that there's an add for that product, brand or company somewhere.

I don't know how many times the add guy who was working on the outdoor mag I edited would come in and say 'I'm this close to signing X. What if we agree to write a full page review on product X?' or 'what if we talk up product X in a specific article?'

In my experience, whenever I said no, the guy would look at me like I'd just cut his lunch and often wouldn't speak to me for the rest of the day. And often in these cases, I got a little visit from the boss who tried to change my mind. As you can imagine, I didn't last in the position very long, and this is exactly why.

Having said that, sometimes I did say yes, and that's because I knew said product was infact good. And I had no problem saying nice things about good products if I knew for sure they were industry leading. After all, I'd rather readers be influenced to buy certain brands/products that I was positive would do the best job for them. The problem was that it didn't happen enough, because it was the companies/brands that lagged behind that were desperate for favorable comment, and thus more willing to advertize in conjunction with it.

Best advice I can give is to be discerning. Do your homework, get a 2nd and 3rd opinion and read user reviews online. Never ever trust anything you read in print at face value. It used to be that you'd be ridiculed for believing what you read on the web. Having worked in both mediums (I still do actually, but only as freelance for print media), I can safely say that now it's the other way around. You're far more likely to get the real picture on the Internet. And it's a hell of a lot cheaper.
I don't mind ads at all. What we have here in the US are guides and tourney anglers sponsored by boat/tackle industry. I pay little attention
to the paid spokes people.
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