Search This Blog

Friday, March 13, 2009

OK magazine turns the "merge pictures" command into a publishing strategy

Times are tough at the magazine stand and there are some pretty desperate publishers out there, none more so than the people behind Richard Desmond's OK. The picture magazine seems to have decided that if they can't get the right shot then, hey, they can always bake their own. The UK edition has apologised for Photoshopping two completely separate shots of Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham together over a "quote" which actually came from "a friend of".
The U.S. version has been even busier with Jennifer Aniston digitally put in the arms of her alleged boyfriend and even the children of Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie finding themselves paired off digitally. Of course anybody who's taken Desmond's shilling must expect that he's going to do this kind of thing but nonetheless it is quite breathtaking in its contempt for the intelligence of the readers. You wouldn't be entirely surprised if this is part of the "negotiation" leading towards the acquisition of the genuine article, if that's the appropriate expression.

13 comments:

  1. Blimey I thought the touching up done was scandalous!

    ReplyDelete
  2. what makes it worse is that the Photoshopping is so hilariously badly done! I'm a prod ed and even I could have done a better job.

    Greetings Mr H. Been reading for a while but never commented.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wonder if that actually is her hand around Victoria's waste or just a cheap stock photo of someone elses.

    Must admit I had to look up who Cheryl Cole is - and I'm a Chelsea supporter.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd say Desmond has got the reader's intelligence just about right.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe you're fundamentally wrong. No bunch of readers are any more intelligent than any others. That's the one thing I've learned in thirty years in publishing. If the cliché was true then Guardian readers wouldn't be locking their keys inside their car whereas Sun readers would be doing it all the time. Readers of the Financial Times are not cleverer than readers of the Mirror. If that was the case we wouldn't be in the state we are. Desmond's policy might work because people's need to believe in a fairy tale may be stronger than their grip on reality but the same thing applies to lots of coverage of the Obamas in the posh papers. You just choose the illusion you wish to surrender to.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "...but the same thing applies to lots of coverage of the Obamas in the posh papers." Or indeed the second hand 'look at what the tabloids are saying about Jade Goody' sneakiness of the broadsheets.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wait till these kind of experiments become what can only be described as information warfare.

    Celebrity is the canary. Mark my words.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm no lawyer, but hasn't this kind of thing been designed by legal teams? It may not be true, but is it libelous? If it is not, expect lots more. If DH is right about the homogeneity of readerships, this has already been surrendered to. In short, it's entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You just choose the illusion you wish to surrender to.

    Did you come up with that?

    It's - depressingly - very true.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't know if intelligence has anything to do with locking your keys in the car. Einstein probably did that too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Unlikely. He didn't drive.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, you know what I mean.

    Left the gas on or something then.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete