Magazine covers that sell: “Best of” topics and Jennifer Aniston. Those that don’t: “Green” and Paris Hilton (are we really surprised?).

According to a study by GfK MRI and reported by Advertising Age, “‘Green’ coverage, negative emotions and, surprisingly, celebrity scandals are more likely to hurt than help” magazine circulation. The research reviewed various topics on 11,161 magazine covers between May 2006 and April 2010. Advertising Age added that “The economy, beach bodies, and ‘best of’ treatments all help magazines draw bigger audiences than usual.” The surprise for me was the low interest in ‘green’ edit given that it seems” everyone” is going “green” these days.

The article also noted a story about Vanity Fair‘s Editor in Chief Graydon Carter placing Paris Hilton on the cover in 2005 and a smart aleck accusing him of using the heiress like “newsstand crack.” My how times have changed… Who would have thought Paris Hilton would become a magazine cover “don’t.” Okay, well, I’ll reserve comment…

So, which public figures still “sell” covers?

  • Jennifer Aniston
  • George W. Bush
  • Barack Obama

As previously noted, other topics that sell include:

  • The economy
  • Beach bodies (surprised?)
  • “Best of” topics (I mean who does love the ‘best of’ anything?)

And for the betterment of society (that’s my commentary), what’s out is the aforementioned Ms. Hilton and former MTV reality star Lauren Conrad. It’s looks like there is hope for humanity and the future of magazines after all.

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