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Survival of the Prettiest?

By® Staff

Originally Posted

The Wall Street Journal got its first makeover since 1942. And, Wired magazine will hit the stands with a new look this June. Such rebranding acts demonstrate both a conservative and radical publication pulling out all the stops to boost sagging subscriptions and tit-dragging ad sales.

Will an extra splash of color in WSJ or putting Steven Spielberg on the new cover of Wired boost readership and sales? Can applying lipstick transform a modern-day housewife into a boy toy? Cosmetics alone won't solve the core business issues, but neither will standing still.

Scott Bedbury, former Nike director of corporate advertising and VP of marketing for Starbucks, says consumers want change and are insatiable. Bedbury's advice is to just do it, and then do it differently. With these words of wisdom, the Wall Street and Wired may be sparking interest for great things to come. However, we doubt a splash of color or a celeb on the cover can redirect magazine sales that were off by 31.5 percent last year and ad revenues that were down almost 60 percent for Wired last quarter. Nor will it instantaneously recoup the $28 million the Wall Street spent on its online publication redesign alone.

Oh, what we will spend to look good.

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