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  • 10.23.08

Ad Ubiquity in Wired

I enjoy Wired magazine when I’m done reading Fast Company, but this current month’s issue left me wondering: where do the articles end, and the ads begin? It’s really a seamless merging of the two, at least to my uneducated eyes.  Every page carries forward a design sensibility introduced on the first few pages.  Quick…do the ads look like editorial, or the copy resemble ads?

I enjoy Wired magazine when I’m done reading Fast Company, but this current month’s issue left me wondering: where do the articles end, and the ads begin?

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It’s really a seamless merging of the two, at least to my uneducated eyes.  Every page carries forward a design sensibility introduced on the first few pages.  Quick…do the ads look like editorial, or the copy resemble ads?

The question remains unanswered now that I’ve flipped closed the back cover.  All I remember are images at funny angles.  Typefaces stretched, jumbled, and usually sans serif (which I miss, being an old guy).  Text often times jarred, if not sometimes literally overwhelmed by imagery, with peripheral chaos surrounding the most data-dense pages.

A solid chunk of the magazine was occupied by product reviews, which reminded me of those paid-for sections in adverzines you get at the airport (or which appear in other publications with that mouseprint “special advertising section” as your only indication that what you’re reading is commerical, not journalistic).

Everything in the magazine felt like it was intended to make me buy something, if not render me slightly agitated.

I know ad ubiquity is the trend online, whether via search results or the origins of much of the “conversational” content we experience.  But does it help the purposes of advertising in a print magazine? Negatively impact the credibility of the journalism?

Is ad ubiquity in Wired a bright light or dim bulb idea?

About the author

My technology experience mirrors the development of social technology, having first participated in interactive online gaming in the early 1970s while playing “Empire” on the University of Illinois’ pioneering PLATO system. I was an early user of the Whole Earth’s WELL (one of the first online communities) and I can program in FORTRAN and COBOL.

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