When a newspaper or broadcaster shapes and delivers opinion, it is only right that the audience know exactly whose opinion is being expressed.
Magazines often use advertorial pages as bargaining chips to encourage advertisers to buy additional, full-price ad pages. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the competitive world of women's fashion magazines where the number of advertising pages are an especially visible indicator of a magazines success. For example, in an effort to boost ad pages, it was reported that Glamour magazine offered a full page advertorial for advertisers who purchased a regular, full-price ad. The advertorial special was priced at $10,000 to $15,000, while a regular page of advertising went for $92,910. These types of incentive packages are not only good deals for the advertiser, but good deals for publishers, as well, whose bonuses are often tied to ad page growth.
Publishing companies acknowledge the existence of this page-based culture. Catherine Viscardi Johnston, executive vice president at Conde Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, Inc., stated that advertorials have been a short cut to achieving page records. Industry awards, too, are heavily weighted in favor of the publications that achieve page growth. As a result, huge efforts are made toward growing ad-page count both for revenue and recognition.
Publications run the risk, though, of "hooking" advertisers on discounted advertorial advertising, whereby advertisers grow reluctant to spend more money on regular advertising without the added benefit of the advertorial, for which most publications carry production costs. Hence, although ad pages increase, the publication has, in reality, failed to grow its advertising business. As a result, the publication, in turn, becomes "hooked" on its own opium -- advertorials -- to retain business, with no simple way to end the trip they instigated.
Still, there are some magazine publish...
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