Celebrities often covet magazine covers as a way to scoop up publicity for their latest movie roles or other work. They give editors some skinny on their personal lives in exchange for the chance to chat up their projects. But what happens if the magazine leaves out the part about the project?
Apparently, that demands a correction.
That's what happened after InStyle ran a cover story about Kate Hudson in its July issue without plugging her new release.
"CORRECTION We regret that in a feature on Kate Hudson in our July issue (p. 169) we did not mention her new dramedy with director Zach Braff, Wish I Was Here (in theaters July 18)," wrote InStyle on the Letters page of the next issue. InStyle Editor Ariel Foxman said "Wish I Was Here" was inadvertently edited out of an earlier version of the story.
The story's editor pointed out the mistake after the issue went to print. That's when they deliberated on the best way to handle the failure to promote.
"I said, 'Let's run a correction and let readers know about Kate Hudson's project,'" Mr. Foxman said. "It had been an omission and it was part of the reason Kate Hudson appeared in the issue."
As far as Mr. Foxman knows, this is the only time the magazine has "corrected" a missing plug for a project in the six years since he became editor.
Ms. Hudson's camp did not request the correction, according to the magazine. Her publicist did not respond to requests for comment.
Sometimes magazines promise in writing to promote a celebrity's project, according to Steven Cohn, editor-in-chief of Media Industry Newsletter, which obsessively follows the magazine business. That wasn't the case here, people familiar with the situation said, but the oversight was still considered worth addressing.
"Relationships are very important in this business," Mr. Cohn said. "My guess is that InStyle didn't want to ruin one, so they put the correction in."
It's not hard to see why InStyle, which is part of Time Inc., would want to preserve its relationship with the well-connected star. Celebrities help sell magazines and InStyle -- like almost everyone else in the magazine business -- is seeing dramatic declines in sales at the newsstand.
Single-copy print sales, which comprise 25% of the magazine's paid and verified circulation, averaged 459,064 during the second half of last year, down 12.5% from the period a year earlier, according to reports the magazine filed with the Alliance for Audited Media, which tracks magazine circulation.