SPLIT COVER NOT UNIQUE

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I read with interest your article pointing out that Elizabeth Arden Co. has tied up a "unique" worldwide deal with Elle involving a split front cover (AA, Feb. 28).

I must take issue with the idea of it being an Arden creation, as Prestige & Collections and ourselves did the exact same exercise with Safari for Men in GQ last November.

The idea, I believe, is an advertiser's dream as it dominates the titles in a way which "normal" activity can't do. In impact terms it has no equal, which makes it even more surprising to hear eminent media directors concerning themselves about the reader when the product is not being affected editorially. Are we saying that the reader buys the magazine for the aesthetics rather than the content? It sounds very much like sour grapes.

Peter Russell

Optmedia

London

Editor's note: The article noted that split-cover ads were used in European magazines.

The gatefold cover idea is not new, nor is it particularly unusual. We have been using the technique since 1991, and I am aware of agricultural trade publications making consistent use of it in years prior.

If Madison Avenue agencies are "annoyed because they didn't come up with the idea first..." they are sadly lacking in imagination.

Bob Vickers

Publisher

Fishing Tackle Trade News

Vancouver, Wash.

Your editorial (AA, March 7) took a tack I didn't expect. Better you should have condemned the use of the ad relative to the cover art.

For example, suppose the cover had dealt with fashions at the Olympics or something similar. Would a French-door opening for a CBS ad offering a schedule of Olympics activities, some hype about its coverage, etc., have been so terrible?

Advertising can do lots more than just help pay a publisher's bills. It can add something to the editorial if there is really and truly a cooperative spirit between the advertising and editorial departments.

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg, Md.

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