May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
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Teen Vogue is the first fashion publication and Condé Nast title to run a native cover ad following the recently revamped American Society of Magazine Editors guidelines. The May issue of the magazine featuring 17-year-old Kylie Jenner will be eclipsed by a copy-cat cover ad featuring hair-care brand Tresemmé.
The festival hair themed sponsorship falls in with the magazine’s music issue and also features two online video tutorials created by Condé Nast Entertainment, the publisher’s branded content division. An advertorial on how to get Jenner’s cover look as well as a number of posts on the magazine’s website and social channels, including a contest on Instagram, are also included in the deal.
Despite the advertising first, most teens will arguably be more focused on Kylie Jenner’s solo debut on the cover and the current drama surrounding the #KylieJennerChallenge to notice the strategic shift.
Publisher and CRO of the magazine Jason Wagenheim spoke to Ad Age about the shifting expectations of the younger millennial, confirming that this was just the first of two more cover ads also being created: “[They’re] being brought up in a new age that expects this type of integration from sponsors. It’s not an ad in their face.”
The move, which has raised a number of eyebrows in the industry, follows on from the changes made by ASME to its editorial guidelines on April 15th.
Below is one of the updates to the rules on native advertising:
-Regardless of platform or format, the difference between editorial content and marketing messages should be clear to the average reader. On websites populated by multiple sources of content, including user-generated content, aggregated content and marketer-provided content, editors and publishers must take special care to distinguish between editorial content and advertising.
The commission does warn that ads mimicking the “look and feel” of a publication they appear in can be deceitful and should be avoided however it then goes on to provide guidance for conspicuously labeling these sorts of native ads anyway.
The line between editorial and advertising continues to blur however this isn’t the first time we’ve seen ads on covers, though previously these instances have been in violation of ASME’s guidelines. One instance was Hearst’s Cosmopolitan’s stick-on ad for L’Oreal in May 2014, which debuted around the same period as label-mate Marie Claire’s subscriber cover for its April edition.
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