Condé Nast, the parent company for fashion magazines such as GQ, Details, and Vogue, is planning to move into e-commerce. Not a breaking development, as many companies in traditional media have been doing this, but a slightly concerning one for anybody who cares about journalistic integrity. Will magazines such as Details and GQ be reporting on trends or trying to sell you on one? Does it make a difference if they’re trying to sell you the clothes they’ve named this fall’s “Must-Have Essentials?”
In an interview with Internet Retailing, the company’s president for their new e-commerce division had this to say:
Ideally when a reader goes to Vogue and sees a product she’s interested in, we need to find a way of making that connection with that product so that it actually goes all the way through the transaction. Vogue will keep presenting its content as it is doing it today. But we will add a way of making that match between the content and products we are selling.
Kind of gets into the whole issue of native advertising – the disguising of advertising as content. Condé Nast says they can balance their journalistic integrity with their need to sell stuff, and they may, but for those who care about journalistic integrity, these kind of developments feel troubling.
Incidentally, this clip from On the Media is worth listening to, if you haven’t already.