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Fishing Mags and the mighty $$$

2482 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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as one who is currently involved in the magazine publishing world (not fishing mags - i work on a golf magazine) - I agree that reviews/road tests of various products are now commonplace within the magazine world.

And Dan is right - the majority of articles are intended to make the featured product look like the best thing since sliced bread. However its HOW it's presented to the reader that makes all the difference.

Unfortunately too many mags don't disclose that the article is in fact an 'advertorial' or an 'equipment review' - hence why the readers do get a bit suss of the whole publication.

Others (and the mag i work on does this), have regular 'product reviews', 'road tests' and 'equipment features' which are clearly shown to be product reviews. Yes, the results are usually written to highlight the positives of the product and make the product sound attractive, but at the end of the day every magazine is a commercial business and does rely heavily on the mighty advertising $$ to survive. These reviews are usually 'value added' services to give the advertisers some exposure in a different format (ie editorial)

Unfortunately, without ad $$, there wouldn't be too many magazines around - its the same as commercial TV - you're happy to watch it, but it wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the advertising..

I agree with all that mags should disclose whether the article is in fact a promotion for the product or not - it's the only way to maintain credibility with readers (and at the end of the day, the readers are the ones who determine whether the mag is a success or not).

Just my 2 cents worth.. :D
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At the end of the day, (as has already been said) magazines are there to sell product for the publisher. This product is copies of the publication plus advertising space within. They are also a sales tool for the various companies that do advertise to enable them to promote their products to a targeted audience of (in this case) fishos who you would imagine WOULD have a fair interest in these types of products.

Apart from working in the industry I am also a magazine consumer and subscriber to a few sports and fishing titles. I can put up with a bit of product placement within a magazine as long as it's RELEVANT - however I hate seeing magazines where they go off topic and do a feature on something that's not related to why I bought the magazine. (eg Golf Magazines doing pieces on "Hot Cars" or "Travel in Mexico" )

Yes the sales teams and the editorial teams are both trying to do their thing (sell ads / write interesting editorial) to meet the needs of both their core customers (readers and advertisers). In the majority, I feel that MOST magazines do a pretty good job of catering for the needs of everyone quite well (of course theres exceptions to this). I'm lucky in that I work on a magazine where sales and editorial both work together really well and share ideas etc (not like some previous magazines/newspapers I've worked on where it's an 'us versus them' mentality - not a good working relationship)

Heres another take on the whole 'product placement thing' - take the womens mags for instance (highest circulating mags in Australia) - I would say that close to 100% of the content of these mags is made up of supplied advertorial/product reviews. 200 odd pages of bloody shoes, clothes and makeup. Not my cup of tea. But for the ladies (and men) who buy these mags, they are obviously interested in it.

At the end of the day it's the readers choice how they spend their hard earned $$ - if they like the articles/ads/editorials and want to go out and buy that product -great. If not, they also have the choice NOT to buy the product featured/advertised or even to buy the magazine itself. Nobody's twisting anybody's arm to force them to buy anything.

A motto (personal favourite of mine) - you can't please everyone all the time.

Another Motto (probably applies in this case) - IF you don't like it, don't buy it... :roll: 8)
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