Friday, June 1, 2007

Is "Christianity Today" shilling for "Evan Almighty"?

It certainly seems that way to The Parish:
I received the latest issue of Christianity Today this week. I admit to being a bit confused at first. Front and center under the normal CT banner was Steve Carrell dressed as Noah, surrounded by animals and backed by an ark. At first I thought, "Finally, CT is getting serious about popular culture and they're doing a cover on religious films." Then I opened the magazine and saw the real cover inside the advertisement. I finally noticed the word "advertisement" above and to the right of the CT banner on the cover. The entire cover, front and back, was an ad for Evan Almighty mocked up as a CT cover.

It's not unusual for magazines to wrap their product in an ad. Books & Culture does it pretty regularly, and they are CT's sister publication. Usually though, B&C is advertising for subscription renewals or gift subscriptions. The ad is obviously an ad; even the paper stock is different. The CT ad though is a different matter. Am I worried that someone will be fooled into believing this is the real cover? No. Am I quibbling? Possibly. Is this that big a deal? Maybe not. But blurring the line between advertising and content is an ongoing problem with magazines.
Somewhat related: doctored magazine covers

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