Everyone reading this probably knows that September is the biggest month in Fashion Mag Land, and composite ad counts for the major titles make up a kind of State of the Union of the industry at large. It's one of the rare times that slim isn't in.
Ad counts have been down in the years following the stock market crash of 2008, so there's a good reason to be excited by the news that Vogue's September 2012 issue will include 727 ad pages — the greatest amount in four years — and be the biggest issue ever, when you combine ads and straight editorial content. I mean, there's a very good reason to be excited if you're a fashion publisher or a luxury retailer or some other industry professional that stands to gain from an uptick in consumer luxury spending. But if you're just a reader? You could be excited to have a chance to leaf through so many exceptionally-produced campaigns, and you could maybe be vicariously excited, on behalf of a magazine you really love — but I don't know, guys.
Ads can be pretty and ads can be cool, but no matter what, they're produced solely to pursuade you to buy stuff. And I know part of the reason people follow fashion is because they like to — they like buying stuff — but it's the only category of entertainment that doesn't make any real kind of value distinction between the actual content and the ads which are supposed to support its creation. It's nuts: people whine when they have to watch a thirty-second commercial before a YouTube video, but cram a fashion magazine full of advertising and suddenly it's a must-have issue.
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