Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Hell, there are no rules here...we're trying to accomplish something" Thomas Edison

Lewis Lazare writing about the business of advertising is about as good as it gets. I have been a fan of Lew's views for decades and highly recommend his writing. Today Lew stands up to the dead tree advocates at ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors)...

Based on our experience the past several days, we would respectfully suggest that ASME, which also hands out the esteemed National Magazine Awards (which the New Yorker, by the way, has won bundles of in recent years), has all but abandoned its watchdog role.

Rules is rules and ASME should police its own, shame on Marlene Kahan. Bravo to Lew for making an issue out of this. You may read Lew's take on the New Yorker/Target flap here.

From Letters to Romenesko, John Higgins writes...

Lewis Lazare calls the New Yorker's "Target" issue "the most jaw-dropping collapse of the so-called sacred wall between editorial and advertising in modern magazine history" and "almost impossible to discern any line of demarcation between Target's advertising and the New Yorker editorial product." So what did this issue contain? A long article on Kinky Friedman's Texas Gubernatorial campaign, a lengthy profile of Billy Graham's son, a short column item on a collection of Osama Bin Laden's speeches.. Where, exactly, was the confusion here? Lazare couldn't tell the difference between the Target ads and a review of recent books on Kim Il Jong?

Seems to me it's all about full disclosure, it's about following the rules, it's about standards. On balance I agree with Lew.