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is the controversial Rolling Stone magazine a smart marketing move?
2 Sep 2013
 

is the controversial Rolling Stone magazine a smart marketing move?

 

is the controversial Rolling Stone magazine a smart marketing move?

2 Sep 2013
rolling stone boston bomber edition

Like it or not, the August 2013 issue of Rolling Stone magazine could end up being a smart marketing move.

The cover featured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, otherwise known as “Suspect No. 2” from the horrific bombing of this year’s Boston Marathon. The tagline under his photo reads, “The Bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

The controversial cover rightly caused outrage, particularly over social media — it’s been trending on Twitter – and in the blogosphere. Readers are used to seeing musicians, politicians and pop-culture icons glorified on the cover. Not alleged murderers. Not usually, anyway.
The April bombings in Boston left three people dead and more than 250 others injured, some seriously. The tragedy gripped the attention of the entire country and the world, and emotions surrounding the incidents are still raw.

Making Tsarnaev the cover subject was certain to grab the attention of the public. After all, the front cover is a magazine’s prime tool for selling issues, and is often a driver for people buying it, or searching out stories online. The risk, of course, was if the negative attention from this cover caused any of the magazine’s advertisers to pull out. We already know that certain stores in the US have decided not to sell the issue on their newsstands.

On RollingStone.com, the editors published this note about the cover story:
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens”

However Rolling Stone is no stranger to controversial covers. In June 1970, the magazine did a cover story on the murders orchestrated by Charles Manson. In 1980, it published a cover featuring Yoko Ono and a naked John Lennon. In 1993, it published a cover featuring a topless Janet Jackson with a pair of hands covering her breasts.

For entrepreneurs, associating your brand with a controversial subject can be risky business. Young business’ can have a hard time bouncing back after a spout of negative attention.
But like it or not, that cover of the Rolling Stone has accomplished at least one thing: There’s a lot of people talking about Rolling Stone magazine – only time will tell to see if this goes in their favour.

 

 





Get a feel for what we do!

Our FREE sample packs are full of great print ideas. They’ll give you a taste of what to expect when ordering your design and printing from us.

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rolling stone boston bomber edition

Like it or not, the August 2013 issue of Rolling Stone magazine could end up being a smart marketing move.

The cover featured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, otherwise known as “Suspect No. 2” from the horrific bombing of this year’s Boston Marathon. The tagline under his photo reads, “The Bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

The controversial cover rightly caused outrage, particularly over social media — it’s been trending on Twitter – and in the blogosphere. Readers are used to seeing musicians, politicians and pop-culture icons glorified on the cover. Not alleged murderers. Not usually, anyway.
The April bombings in Boston left three people dead and more than 250 others injured, some seriously. The tragedy gripped the attention of the entire country and the world, and emotions surrounding the incidents are still raw.

Making Tsarnaev the cover subject was certain to grab the attention of the public. After all, the front cover is a magazine’s prime tool for selling issues, and is often a driver for people buying it, or searching out stories online. The risk, of course, was if the negative attention from this cover caused any of the magazine’s advertisers to pull out. We already know that certain stores in the US have decided not to sell the issue on their newsstands.

On RollingStone.com, the editors published this note about the cover story:
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens”

However Rolling Stone is no stranger to controversial covers. In June 1970, the magazine did a cover story on the murders orchestrated by Charles Manson. In 1980, it published a cover featuring Yoko Ono and a naked John Lennon. In 1993, it published a cover featuring a topless Janet Jackson with a pair of hands covering her breasts.

For entrepreneurs, associating your brand with a controversial subject can be risky business. Young business’ can have a hard time bouncing back after a spout of negative attention.
But like it or not, that cover of the Rolling Stone has accomplished at least one thing: There’s a lot of people talking about Rolling Stone magazine – only time will tell to see if this goes in their favour.

 

 





Get a feel for what we do!

Our FREE sample packs are full of great print ideas. They’ll give you a taste of what to expect when ordering your design and printing from us.

Request free sample pack