Sometimes in GQ there is a section or two that is labeled “GQ Exclusive Advertising Section. You might be asking, “What’s the big deal? Of course GQ has advertising in it.” Well, the interesting thing about these sections is the advertiser makes it look like editorial content.
I find this especially interesting since I’m a content marketer by profession. These ads try to blend into the rest of the magazine and actually do a pretty good job of it. They are high quality ads that are actually useful to the consumer. You could walk into a Target or an Express or any of the other companies that have done one of these ads and pick up the same clothes that the models are wearing.
When I did a search for “GQ Exclusive Advertising Section,” there isn’t much out there on the subject. The one useful thing that did come up though was Condé Nast’s Contracts and Regulations page where it says:
Advertisements that simulate or resemble editorial content must be clearly identified and labeled “ADVERTISEMENT” or “PROMOTION” or “SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION” at the top of the advertisement, and GQ may, in its discretion, so label such copy.
GQ allows this editorial looking content because they get the big bucks from the advertiser. They seem to do a decent job of labeling it, but I’m not sure if people get fooled by the faux content or not. Just know that the marketers of the ad wrote and endorsed their own products, not the editors at GQ. Of course Express is going to say that you should get their products, whereas GQ is (hopefully) unbiased.
Just be sure as you Up Your Fashion Game, to be weary of marketing. However, if you do genuinely like the products that are being advertised, I think it’s a neat way to showcase products.