MONDO 2000 WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD
Date: Sat, 7 May 94 12:57:12 PDT
Subject: MONDO 2000 WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD
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MONDO 2000 WINS PRESTIGIOUS
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Copyright by Steve O'Keefe
Special to The Wall Street Urinal
NEW YORK - The Dean of Columbia University's School of
Journalism, Preston Allfronts, today awarded the school's highest
honor -- Publisher of the Year -- to Queen Who, editrix of the
controversial "new edge" magazine, Mondo 2000.
The San Francisco publication was cited for a revolutionary
marketing strategy announced earlier this year. In a move that
has been widely emulated, Mondo ceased publication. In the months
that followed, both advertising and subscriptions skyrocketed,
contrary to conventional logic.
In bestowing the award, Allfronts said "Mondo 2000's strategy
of simply not publishing is the most important development since
Gutenberg invented movable type." In accepting the award, Queen
Who said that the transition to a completely virtual magazine was
her goal all along. "We used to be the new edge. When taken to
its sharpest extreme, the edge disappears. And so did we," Who
Insiders report the controversial new strategy was arrived at
more or less by accident. "Money was tight," an anonymous staffer
reports. "We were trying to think of ways to attract more upscale
advertisers. So we decided to cut out anything that might be
offensive. We had a staff meeting and did a bunch of smart drugs
and then we realized that the entire magazine is offensive. In
fact, the existence of Mondo 2000 itself is an offense. So we
decided to eliminate the whole magazine, and the advertisers
practically beat down the door!"
Joe Promo of the advertising agency Olgilvy Della Femina
Satchi Thompson (ODFST) agreed that the new format is a hit. "Our
clients want to be associated with the cutting edge," Promo said.
ODFST created a stir in the advertising world several years ago
with their successful campaign for the Infinity automobile. The
ads were criticized for not showing the car. "It used to be
daring not to show the product," Promo said, "now we don't even
show the ad."
AT&T is one of the advertisers to come on board since the
demise of Mondo 2000. The company felt the new format dovetailed
nicely with it's own message about the future of telecommunica-
tions. AT&T has been advertising services which are not available
using the slogan, "You Will." Their new ads in Mondo have no
slogan at all and are the talk of New York.
If advertisers are enthusiastic about the new Mondo 2000,
vendors are ecstatic. Since the change in format, newsstand sales
have quintupled. "Our distributors responded favorably to the new
policy of free shipping," said Queen Who, who explained that,
without a magazine, there's nothing to ship. "We have a sell-
through rate that is the envy of the industry: one hundred
percent," Who boasted.
Mondo's decision to cease publication also caught the
attention of the design world. "Mondo 2000 has always been at the
forefront of publication design," said art director Dark Bagel,
who also attended the awards ceremony. "We were using four-color
on every page when the word came down to cut costs," Bagel
relates. "When Queen Who decided to simply eliminate the
magazine, the solution became clear: no design is the most
radical design of all."
The magazine's stable of writers is also pleased with the new
editorial policy. Contacted at his home, cyberpunk author Bruised
Earring said he was delighted with the changes. "They used to
make me cut and cut and cut. I was always battling Who. Now I
just cut the whole thing and it's a lot easier," Earring said.
Former senior editor U.B. Jokin agreed the new format has made
his life easier. "The only thing I write for Mondo anymore is
invoices," Jokin said.
Queen Who said the transition has not been as easy as it
sounds, and Mondo 2000 still has its share of problems. "It's
difficult to convince some advertisers of the value of not
appearing in Mondo. We have to show them that just being able to
claim they're advertisers is more valuable than the ad itself,"
"Mondo 2000 has taken the publishing world kicking and
screaming into the Twenty-first Century," Allfronts said as he
presented the award. "It is the perfect virtual magazine --
something everyone talks about but nobody ever sees."
# # #
© 1994 Peter Langston