I have a minor gripe today. I usually like to keep this blog happy and informative, but I’ve been noticing an unfortunate trend in magazines lately. I love magazines and have a tendency to get a subscription to just about everything: Runner’s World, Running Times, Cooking Light, HGTV, Food Network…..you get the drift.
Last winter I did a post about how disappointed I was with Women’s Health for being a health magazine that went and completely altered Britney Spear’s fabulous body in a picture. It really bugged me that a “health and fitness” magazine would take a perfectly beautiful and fit body and then airbrush the heck out of her.
Then a few months ago I noticed that the back pages of Runner’s World carry a lot of advertisements. Typically when I get to that portion of the magazine I tend to just flip through because I have generally lose interest with ads. But I started to notice that there were a lot of advertisements for diet and weight loss pills.
This stuck me as a little bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand that magazines and other forms of media are only able to survive with the help of advertisements. But I was pretty bummed to see that a magazine aimed at helping runners of all levels become better and more fit athletes, would have so many advertisements for pills that help you lose weight faster, or in some cases as the sole way to lose weight.
People come to running for many reasons. Some are looking to lose weight or to become more physically fit. Others find solace in the alone time and it clears their head. Many are already perfectly fit, while others seek running as a way to shed pounds. While some struggle with weight, others struggle with body image issues. To me, it was a bummer seeing so many adds for magic pills in a magazine aimed at this diverse running population.
And then the doozy of all ads was presented to me the other night. Rock recently flipped through a Sports Illustrated for the first time in a long while. We were both surprised to see some of the ads in this issue.
To be very honest, I didn’t even know that you could advertise cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in magazines anymore. I understand that this is a magazine for sport’s fans and not a magazine directly aiming to help athletes. But I found it really bizarre to see these ads in a sports related magazine.A magazine that promotes professional sports and touches upon interviews with some of the best athletes in the world was okay with advertising carcinogenic compounds.
Let’s not forget that many young and impressionable teenage boys and girls flip through these pages at home or even in their school libraries!
To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. I get that companies need to advertise to stay afloat in a time when digital media has taken over. But I wish that more of these companies and publications would consider who their market is and proceed with a tad more awareness.
What are your thoughts on magazine advertisements? Do you even notice what is being advertised?