Conde Nast, Walmart's Unholy Alliance
In "another recent example of publishers blurring the line between advertising and editorial," Condé Nast partnered with Walmart on Beautyscoop, a 12-page in-store magazine with
tips from editors of Condé Nast fashion/beauty magazines that came out twice this year, writes Erik Maza. Maza provides a thorough analysis of this trend, perhaps more clearly exemplified by
Condé's splashing "a Microsoft Windows 8 advertorial on the covers of its magazines [last month] without a clear label describing it as an ad."
Any crossover between magazine's previously sacrosant church-state border is all part of a larger trend, as Maza notes:"Major publishers have also increasingly moved to offer big-scale marketers the creative services they would normally get from ad agencies," often taking "the old-hat practice of custom publishing to a whole other, and more lucrative, level and advanc[ing] publishers’ attempts at selling their marketing savvy."
Such moves can lead to what seem unholy alliances, as with Condé Nast and Walmart: "The partnership was not a natural fit for either company, whose cultures could not be more antithetical," writes Maza.