I feel obliged to call the world's attention to some news out of 'Forbes' magazine: It's doing well. Very well. That's remarkable for two reasons. The magazine industry in general is circling the drain -- and I was sure 'Forbes' would fail. ' Forbes' magazine itself -- that thing they print on paper -- seems to be seeing growth both in ad pages and newsstand sales. That's a fact that rocks my world, as miracles are wont to do.
You're young, you're old, you're powerful beyond measure, and you have a lot of cash -- and the fuel of that power is not magic or mysticism but knowledge: the things you see, the things you feel, the things you know to be true.
'Smithsonian' is a good magazine. The ads are kind of fascinating too. But for a back page, the issue is financed wholly by direct-response advertisers and a mess of house ads for various Smithsonian enterprises. That's a function of two factors: The overall media economy and demographics. The question becomes, then: what price survival?
If Super Bowl XLVII demonstrated anything, it is the dire need for signal-flag-wavers. In the creative bunker, where agency and client huff one another's fumes, judgment is obviously being distorted on a grand scale. This evening's output wasn't even ordinary. It was extraordinarily poor.
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