Mag Rack: Steal This Book's Party

Alarming Development: Mag Hopes Store Security Stunt Lifts SHOP

As is common with many magazine launches, Hearst is promoting its new shopping-focused title, SHOP Etc., with a party. But in this case, Hearst's invite, sent recently to media and press people, is quite unusual, especially given this era of heightened public security.

Attached to a standard glossy cardboard invite is a real Sensormatic security tag, i.e. one of those plastic security things that stores have hooked to clothing so shoplifters don't walk out of stores without setting off alarms.

At this particular party, which will be held Aug. 4 at the Milk Studios Gallery in New York, you will actually want to set the alarm off. Upon arrival, each attendee will have his or her invitation scanned at the door, and those who set off the alarm will win a $10,000 shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Jessica Kleiman, director of public relations at Hearst, said that the company was trying to be clever, while also sending an invitation that symbolizes the new book. "We thought about the mission of SHOP Etc., which is to be a one-stop shopping experience for fashion, home, and beauty," she said. "Because there is such a strong retail angle to this magazine, we really wanted to think about the launch party as a store opening and one of the icons that is so prevalent in a store is the Sensormatic security tag."

It turns out that SHOP Etc.'s executive marketing director, Lori Rhodes, used to work at Saks and had dealt with the Sensormatic company in the past. Apparently, the company loved the idea and agreed to augment the invitations.

Master Debate: AMC To Grapple With Mags' "New Realities"

The upcoming American Magazine Conference, which is already shaping up to be a star-studded event -- Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Donny ("I can't say no to press") Deutsch, hip hop producer Russell Simmons will be on hand -- promises an intriguing agenda.

When publishing execs gather in October at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida, the theme will be "Mastering New Realities." We assume this is referring to navigating the still tough magazine business climate.

The conference, hosted by the Magazine Publishers of America and the American Society of Magazine Editors, will cover hard core industry issues such as audience measurement versus rate base, the pros and cons of launching new titles, discussions on sales strategy and cover design, and really good food and schmoozing.

Conference highlights include:

* The Best Ever Boca Beach Bash: Advertising Age will present its top magazine list while Food and Wine's celebrity chefs (like Michelle Bernstein of Azul and Robin Haas of Chispa) are serving dinner.

* Taming the Consumer Jungle with Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos: The company's founder will be interviewed by Fortune's Andy Serwer (Mag Rack is not really sure what Amazon has to do with magazines, but we'll go along).

* All About Advertising: Insights from Donny Deutsch: The man who has re-invented advertising finally gets some exposure. Hopefully, he will wear one of his trademark tight-fitting muscle shirts.

* Bush or Kerry -- Understanding New Realities in Politics: Joe Klein of Time and Primary Colors and Howard Fineman of Newsweek will discuss the presidential race and the media, just weeks before the election.

* The Power of the Cover: This panel will discuss the choices editors make and the impact their covers have on the newsstand.

* What a Difference a Year Makes! New Launches New Learnings: Dave Zinczenko of Best Life, Suzanne Boyd of Suede, and others explain why they would do something as insane as launching a magazine in the recently difficult business environment.

*The Debate on Magazine Measurement: This promises to be perhaps the nerdiest hour of one's life, but a must-attend nevertheless.

Plus, during the AMC dinner event, "hot-hot Latin rhythms" are promised. Just picture a roomful of 40-plus, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing media executives tango dancing.

"The primary focus of this year's AMC is to better prepare publishers to 'master new realities' - by overcoming obstacles collectively and innovatively, and most importantly, by reconfirming and strengthening our connection to those who matter most - the magazine reader," under-stated MPA president-CEO Nina Link.

This year's magazine executive panel, moderated by Stephen Shepard, editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek, features Meredith President Stephen Lacy, Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore, Reader's Digest CEO Thomas Ryder; and Conde Nast CEO Charles Townsend.

Premiere May Premiere A New Look

Premiere magazine has named Dirk Barnett, former Popular Science design director, as art director.

Barnett has been design director of Popular Science since 2001. This past May, Barnett was recognized for his contributions when Popular Science won its first National Magazine Award for general excellence in the one million to two million circulation category.

On the business side, Premiere is claiming a 79 percent increase in paging for the September 2004 Fall Preview issue versus last year.

Bauer Gets In Touch With Its South Of The Border Side Bauer Publishing is extending its wildly successful In Touch Weekly into the international market with the launch of In Touch Weekly Mexico. The new magazine will cover the American celebrity scene as well as feature stars from the Mexican and Latin American markets. The 80-page publication is available on newsstands at 18 Pesos or approximately $1.60 USD. The first issue is said to feature some muy caliente gossip.