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Archive for March, 2014

Vogue Cover Gets them Talking

Posted by admin On March - 26 - 2014

The April 2014 issue of Vogue magazine is apparently creating quite the controversial “conversation” in the world of social media.

This was brought to my attention by Sarah Hampson, an award-winning writer, working on a piece for the Globe & Mail.  Thanks to Sarah, I was forced to look on line at the tone of the conversation.

Here’s one example from the Vogue website:

“My Mother subscribed to Vogue for most of her adult life. As a young girl I enjoyed Vogue and it inspired me to dream about being a fashion designer. I remember well Karen Graham, a most famous model, and a article with photos of Jacquelyn Bissit who looked gorgeous in a simple chambray shirt and jeans. I started to learn about all the most prestigious designers and used to sketch their designs as I saw them in photos.
In one issue, you have lowered Vogue from a prestigious magazine to and supermarket checkout stand tabloid. West raps filth. In a song to his Kim is states, when I impregnated your mouth, I knew you’d be my spouse. Kim is famous for and her only talent is her porn tape promoted by her own website today. The tape, done eight years ago, includes a close-up of her VAJJ online for the world to see. These are the people that you have honored by putting them on your cover. This is an insult to the thousands of high fashion models and celebrities that met your high standards that no longer exist. Goodbye Vogue I will never purchase another issue.”


Before reading any further, I took a look at the cover, and asked myself.  Is this cover really that shocking? In my view the cover is beautiful.  Turns out the image was shot by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, and was commissioned by Anna Wintour, like so many times before. Nope, nothing controversial about these two legendary publishing veterans collaborating on a cover.

I then asked myself, was the cover even intended to be shocking? Well, only Anna Wintour knows for sure, but I somehow doubt it was meant to be offensive.  The image shows two celebrities (supposedly in love) holding each other tenderly.  No twerking.  No cheap sexual images.  No skin.  The cover has much in common with a recent Time Magazine cover on the Royal Wedding.  Arguably the Kim & Kanye cover is more restrained and less risque than the Kate & William cover.  Tender Snuggle vs. Juicy Wet Kiss.

Did Time magazine cross over some imaginary line when they did the Kate & William cover?  After all, a royal wedding is mere pomp and fluff, nothing at all akin to news that is important, like the Watergate break-in or Global Warming.  Perhaps some uptight purists and editorial snobs were miffed with the “tabloid-like” treatment of the royals in a “news” magazine.  But, chances are more people loved it, and bought it on newsstands, then any cover ever did, or ever will, on Global Warming or corrupt politicians.

Do I believe Anna Wintour was hoping that the cover would help them sell copies on newsstand?  Well, I assume so, and I hope so.  After all, that is part of the job description of any Editor.  No Publisher I’ve ever known has hired an Editor hoping they’d make decisions which would result in purposefully selling fewer copies.

Vogue’s very name suggests that what they will be covering are “style makers”.  The Oxford Dictionary describes the word Vogue as: “noun, the prevailing fashion or style at a particular time”.  Clearly, for better or worse, Kim & Kanye and Kate & William are indeed fashionable.  To ignore that reality would simply be absurd.

So, was this cover choice purely a desperate move to re-position the magazine as a low-brow tabloid?   I don’t think so.  Getting free publicity has always been part of the task, as Publishers and Editors have employed professional PR staff for decades, with an eye to “getting the magazine talked about.”  The only thing that has changed is that now the conversation includes anyone with a gizmo in hand and digits that can text.  I think the Vogue brand is not so fragile that this cover can shatter its equity.

I suspect the folks at Vogue are loving all the buzz this cover is creating, and I have no doubt that it will result in increased sales of the magazine. Did they do it on purpose? I hope so.  But truth be told, I think they are probably a little bit surprised that it worked out so well.

Legion Nominated for Gutenberg Award

Posted by admin On March - 25 - 2014

Legion Magazine has been nominated for a Gutenberg Award for the Design and Printing of the 2013 Victoria Cross SIP.

The press release goes on to say:

The Gala Gutenberg awards are presented by the Printability and Graphic Communications Instutute, formerly known as the Quebec Institute of Graphic Communications, to recognize excellence in graphics and the printing industry.

The 100-page magazine, published last fall, featured more than 100 archival photos and illustrations to go with a text by historian Hugh A. Halliday.  It’s striking cover, designed by the magazine’s art department, features an embossed Victoria Cross, and fold foil logo.

The winners will be announced at a gala in Montreal on April 22, 2014.

For more information on Legion Magazine contact:
613-591-0116  •

Gardening Digest

Posted by admin On March - 24 - 2014

The 2014 Gardening Digest, published by the team at Harrowsmith’s Truly Canadian Almanac, is set to hit newsstands.  Cover price will be $4.95.

“The magazine is a hefty 196 pages thick, and packed with secrets, tips and advice for the serious Canadian gardener,” says Yolanda Thorton, Publisher.

Look for the magazine at this year’s Canada Blooms show, and stop by to see the 2400 square foot, Wet, Wild and Canadian Harrowsmith Garden.


Posted by admin On March - 24 - 2014

The April 2014 issue of Fashion is hard to miss.

Here’s what Editor, Bernadette Morra has to say about the cover:

“Cobie isn’t the biggest star we have shot this year. But her cover has generated a huge response. There is something about the naturalness of her pose, the fresh-out-of-bed hair, and the sexy, plunging neckline that is very captivating. The busy print of the dress and hits of yellow also have the newsstand punch we are always striving for. And though there isn’t much space for cover lines, art director Eng Lau did a great job of stacking them vertically on either side, so we still have a lot of “sells”.”

For your listening pleasure.

Welcome JP to Gateway

Posted by admin On March - 21 - 2014

In a Press Release from Arlene Shepard, VP Press Management, Gateway, comes the announcement that…

“Jean-Pierre Desrochers (JP) has joined us in the capacity of Regional Manager, Eastern Canada.  JP brings many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge of this marketplace to Gateway.

His role will include the management of all existing Gateway Newstands locations in Quebec as well as taking on the transition process of the LS Travel stores acquired in this market.  This will include Montreal, Quebec City as well as Ottawa.  JP will also be responsible for new business development in this market.

JP comes to Gateway, most recently from Benjamin News.  His knowledge of press in the retail environment has come from his many years of experience at The UCS Group, (now LS Travel Retail) where he oversaw 26 retail stores in Quebec and Ontario, including large newsstands and airport locations for 14 years.

JP will begin at Gateway Newstands on Monday April 14th.

We look forward to JP’s enthusiasm and commitment to growing the presence and profile in this growing market for Gateway Newstands.


Posted by admin On March - 21 - 2014

I received a note from Kevin Brannigan, who offered high praise for this cover.

It does indeed very quickly convey the message.

Epic Hikes

Posted by admin On March - 19 - 2014

The Spring 2014 issue of British Columbia Magazine is on sale this week.

The magazine’s cover feature is a classic piece of service journalism…Epic Hikes.

The magazine is also celebrating, in a low-key way, their 55th year of publishing.

British Columbia Magazine has been on a positive roll as of late.

The Fall 2013 issue (Bears) is up 66% from Fall 2012

The Spring 2013 issue (Kootney Retreats)  is up 47% from prior year.

The Winter 2012 issue (Art of Survival) is up 6% from prior year.


About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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