Odd Couple: Justin and Vanity Fair

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Justin Bieber on Cover of Vanity Fair

The well-chosen portrait on the cover of a magazine boosts sales and PR. The badly chosen image becomes a story for all the wrong reasons, as Justin Bieber and Vanity Fair discover

 

What do Will Smith, Harrison Ford and Justin Bieber have in common? Aside from talent, riches and Hollywood teeth, their cover portrait for Vanity Fair has driven down sales. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bieber’s lipstick-covered image has sold only 246,000 copies, the lowest selling issue in 12 years.

 

Back in July 1999 Will Smith’s cover promoting his steampunk-styled Western, Wild Wild West sold 202, 701 copies, while Harrison Ford’s July 1993 cover sold 243,000.

 

The cover line under Bieber’s image asked, “Is this the Adorable, Inescapable Face of 2011?” No longer a rhetorical question, it seems many people did escape it. A Vanity Fair spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter, Who knew 12-year-olds didn’t buy magazines?”

 

More than anything else it seems to confirm that a well chosen image can make us buy covers. Is the problem with this simply a mismatch of two brands or is it the image itself? Remember any other cover mismatches?What was the last magazine you bought, (or chose not to buy!) because of the cover image?

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