Newspaper and magazine publishers turn to unconventional advertising methods, such as placing ads on magazine covers, to generate sales; Time Inc. joins trend, placing ads on covers of Sports Illustrated and Time magazines

, May 22, 2014 () – Time to run cover ads on Time, SI

Time Inc. said Thursday it'll sell and place small ads on the cover of two of its largest magazines -- Time and Sports Illustrated -- to generate more ad sales as the company prepares to be spun off from its parent, Time Warner.

With the change that is sure to raise eyebrows on Madison Avenue, Time Inc. joins a growing list of publishers that have broken with the tradition of keeping ads away from the cover page.

Most major newspapers, including USA TODAY, run cover ads. A few smaller magazines have embraced the practice, but major magazine brands have shied away to retain the symbolism of editorial independence.

Time's cover ads are small, with the logo of its initial sponsor, Verizon, and the ad campaign tagline running across the bottom of the address sticker.

Time's cover ads will likely get bigger. Advertising Age, which first reported about the plans, reported that Time Inc. also has pitched media buyers on ads that would run across the bottom of its magazines' covers.

Time Warner, which also owns CNN and TNT, will complete its previously announced plan to spin off the magazine division, Time Inc., next month, a move to shield its other properties from the fallout in print advertising.

Starting June 6, Time Inc. will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "TIME."

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