There’s always been a level of speculation amongst the snowboarding populace as to whether or not snowboarding buyers guides were bought off by advertisers. You look at the Transworld Good Wood test and when the boards all had white top sheets there seemed to be a more level playing field, now that the white caps have been removed and graphics are allowed it seems that the bigger advertisers are the ones consistently garnering the top accolades. While others look like a company directory with a blurb about the company, some gear shots, and then their ad on the page next to them it’s no wonder this speculation exists. Recently an email was sent to me by one of my sources who felt that one of these magazines had over stepped their bounds by asking for revenue other than advertising.
Below is the bulk of the email in question and the attached PDF for you to judge:
We just finished up our buyers guide formats for Snowboard & Freeskier Magazines so I wanted to send some info your way. Our buyers guides offer tremendous value as they remain on newsstands for a total of 7 months (8/30/11-3/31/12). That means one ad buy can get (insert company name) products seen all season long. Our core shop distribution program offers more added value as that acts as a very specific form of targeted marketing. We distribute our magazine for free at the core shop retail level. That means that we are putting our publications directly in the consumers hands you are trying to speak to. Below are 2 PDF files that will explain how each buyers guide will be laid out:
Please let me know if you have any questions. As far as pricing goes, don’t worry about our printed rates. Let me know if you have any interest in any of this & I can work on some special pricing with you.
Where’s the journalistic integrity to provide the best information about a product when the company has their hand and wallet in the magazines back pocket? How can something be a definitive guide when it’s paid reviews? There’s more questions than answers at this point by the above mentioned email. But the big question is would you trust a magazine to guide you knowing that any company with the right amount of cash could buy their way in?