This is a really interesting quote from photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who were interviewed recently for Business of Fashion.
“Editorially, there used to be so much freedom that nobody would ask you to shoot a big advertiser for a story. We would, as a joke, put an outfit from Chanel in an editorial, but that was very tongue-in-cheek. Now, basically all the editorial pages are infused by the advertisers.”
This really highlights the sad state of affairs that the magazine and publishing industry has become. Not only does this result in dull magazine editorials (and wow, we see enough of those) but it also makes it more and more difficult for smaller brands to break through. Usually, 90% of a magazine’s content is advertiser’s product, and a very small percentage of brands can actually afford to advertise in magazines. That means the remaining brands have to fight to be in 10% of content, which means magazine content is usually predictable, small brands have even a tougher time getting exposure, and photo teams’ creativity is stifled because of brand obligations.
One great thing about the internet is that brands who are less known do get a chance for exposure, because there are great bloggers and websites who feature smaller brands. Now, if only there were more Susie Bubbles, who does an amazing job at profiling new and upcoming brands, and less BryanBoys, who seems to be on the payroll of Hugo Boss becasue that is all he ever talks about these days.