Woman's Day Complaint - Unethical misrepresentation?

Review by 143061 on 2011-05-30
My wife enjoys buying and looking through a wide variety of magazines relating to home improvement, cooking, decorating, etc...one in particular is "Woman's Day". We have a magazine rack/holder between the love seat and couch. As her and I sat chatting this morning, and going through some old issues, she brings the March-2011 issue to my attention.

She had apparently bought both issues (see attached picture), thinking that they were two separate editions. The purchase was done while standing in line and just quickly glancing through the selections.

At a glance, the different picture of food would lead one to believe it was different editions, but upon closer inspection one can see its the exact same articles, but just strategically rearranged throughout the cover of the magazine. After the cover, the entire magazine is identical page for page.

While it is ultimately the consumer's responsibility to check and know beforehand what they are actually buying, I find this slightly dishonest and misrepresenting.
Comments:20 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-05-31
Posted by raven2010 on 2011-05-30:
A LOT of magazines do this lately--they also advertise "collectors covers", etc.

I agree, as buyers, we should be aware. However, I also find the practice distasteful.

I subscribe to 3-4 favorite magazines but have been "tricked' into buying two copies of other mags at the news stand weeks apart, just like your wife.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
Lsalvador would have a field day responding to me posting a review about Woman's Day magazine...lol! I actually miss the little fella.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
The pictures are different, but both covers are advertising the same artcles. At a quick glance, I could see how one would think it was different. But if you look at it for a minute, you'd notice it was the same edition
Posted by momsey on 2011-05-30:
That's annoying!

Once I saw the title of the review and the name of the reviewer, I couldn't wait to read it!
Posted by D. on 2011-05-30:
That's not very nice of them! I'd be mad and I'd tell them about it!

Posted by MRM on 2011-05-30:
Your title unethical misrepresenatation shouldnt be in the same sentence. I see no unethical practice here, but maybe misrepresentation.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
MRM> Quite the contrary. I would like to think that purposefully producing an alternate cover and creatively rearranging the articles to help conceal that fact, would be considered an unethical business practice. IMHO
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
MRM> But that's just my opinion, and I can respect you having your own:) Thanks for commenting. I was afraid the review might get lost in the shuffle, since its a holiday and all.
Posted by olie on 2011-05-30:
One way to avoid this is to subscribe to the magazine. Many have incredible deals--for example, $1 per issue to have it delivered right to your door, instead of $3 or $4(plus tax) at the grocery stand.

I do agree that the two covers seem to represent two different issues.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
Olie> Thanks! Maybe I will surprise her with a few subscriptions to her favorite magazines.

*Honestly honey, I don't know how that Playboy got in there...lol*
Posted by olie on 2011-05-30:
DIRM, I'm the one who writes the checks. Playboy is OK with me. (Although Mr.olie wouldn't know where to go in this town to actually *purchase* one, since he's "allergic" to bookstores. Plus, the articles are awesome. Really!!)
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-05-30:
that is just plain odd.
Posted by T on 2011-05-31:
This seems a bit odd. I wonder what the intent is; I'd hope it isn't to trick people into buying another one.

As olie points out, a subscription for regular buyers would prevent this from being an "issue". Those who buy off the rack would have to have their mind jogged to realize they already bought it.

Come to think of it, you would have to look at the date anyway, unless you were going off a photographic memory of what is sitting at home.

It would be great to get a company response to know why this is done.
Posted by Pepper on 2011-05-31:
I'd also recommend bringing the magazine back to see if she can return one of them.

I too don't like the practice of having collectable covers cos it encourages people to buy twice as many (or even 3-4 copies) just to collect the covers.

I won't stop them from doing it... i just won't buy them. :)
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-05-31:
I used to buy paperbacks all the time and when finished pass on to friends. Some I would purchase and after a page or two realize I'd already read it. I honesty didn't think I'd lost my mind and was later told by a friend the paperback folks would change the cover from time to time. You'd see an author you enjoyed and grab that one up.

There is a heck of a difference in paperback books and a current magazine. Unless you have your latest purchase in hand I expect it's quite easy to pick up another one. What's there to compare it to, especially if you haven't gotten to the edition you've already bought?

Nice reminder of something we need to keep a keen eye out for.
Posted by Whiteduck on 2011-05-31:
Watch the Dean Koontz (Kuntz?) books... He re-releases them every few years with a different cover. I was suckered a couple of times until I started looking for the copyright date...
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-31:
Whiteduck, one of my co-workers was mentioning that a few weeks ago. She bought a Dean Koontz book with a cover she didn't recognize, only to discover it was one she already owned.
Posted by Pepper on 2011-05-31:
Whiteduck - o? I usually know ahead of time if I've read one of Dean's books but ... then again part of that is because the majority of DK books I've read are Odd Thomas. But that's good to know, too :D
Posted by biomajor on 2011-05-31:
I love Dean Koontz :)
Posted by Alain on 2011-05-31:
I love Koontz's books, as well! I usually remember them, so I haven't had any problems with ones I've read before, so far.

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