Substance and Style
WWD.com reports that the WSJ is creating a fashion and design bureau and promising daily coverage under a specific logo. The paper seems to see the move as an ad-sales play designed to cater to female readers as consumers, however, rather than an important supplement to its business coverage for both men and women.
In response to questioning from WWD, Journal publisher L. Gordon Crovitz issued a statement Monday afternoon, calling female Journal readers "the most affluent and most influential, style-setting women, and we're delighted now to be able to serve them even better with our expanded coverage." He added that the Journal readership purchases "more women's fashion items than do all the readers of the women's magazines — combined."
But maybe that's just the WWD spin. Still, I have to wonder about the feasibilty of selling ads that appeal to, at best, half the newspaper's audience--especially since even a well-produced newspaper like the Journal is not a good a medium for luxurious, full-color ads as a glossy magazine. There's a good economic reason that fashion advertisers put their ads in magazines where a) all the readers are potential buyers b) those readers are thinking about fashion when they're reading c) the periodical looks and feels good.