Canadian Magazine Industry News
6 October 2010,     CANADA
Magazines Canada releases new ad/edit guidelines
Magazines Canada has released revised ad/edit guidelines for the consumer and B2B magazine industry.

Co-chair of the 2010 Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines committee, Magazines Canada membership committee chair and Outdoor Canada editor Patrick Walsh says the recent addition of B2B members to Magazines Canada was the driving force behind updating the guidelines. “In reviewing the B2B titles we found several of them were not following all the guidelines,” he says. “This raised the questions of should they follow the guidelines and also should they follow the same rules as consumer magazines?”

The answer, which the 12 member committee of consumer and B2B industry members decided on was yes to both questions. Now failure for both consumer and B2B titles to follow the guidelines willingly and continually could result in a publications membership being discontinued by Magazines Canada, or for disqualification of offending entries to the National Magazine Awards. “Basically the ads/edit guidelines are to help magazines be good citizens in the community, for them to follow the guidelines to the best of their abilities,” says Walsh. “The main yard stick is that readers should be able to tell what in a magazine is advertising and what is editorial.”

These ad/edit guidelines are for print publications only, says Walsh. Magazines Canada is looking into creating a separate set for online content and advertising.

Section by section changes and additions to the ad/edit guidelines are as follows. Bold sections are new to this edition of the guidelines:


“The following guidelines are intended to help editors, publishers and advertisers maintain an industry-wide standard for preserving this crucial distinction, and to do so in a manner that is entirely transparent to the reader.”


"Similarly, the magazine’s name or logo may appear in a third-party advertisement for a promotion, contest or event in which the magazine is a sponsor, partner or participant.”

Patrick Walsh: This was added for the benefit of many B2B magazines because they have many events where it is necessary to include their name. It is happening in a lot more in the consumer world as well.


“Advertisements should not be placed immediately before, within or immediately after editorial content that includes mention of the advertised products or services. Exceptions are allowed for listings and contests, as well as multiple-source articles that quote representatives from companies that have placed advertisements; wherever possible, efforts should be made to distance the advertisements from the comments. There must be no promise of editorial mention in exchange for securing advertisements.”

Walsh: Basically the changes say editors shouldn’t be out promoting their advertisers.

For more on changes in the ad/edit guidelines join Walsh and Kim Pittaway in a podcast from Magazines Canada Thursday, October 14 at 2 p.m. Registration is free and can be done here.

The complete copy of the 2010 Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines can be downloaded here.

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