The chaps at Monocle are in the news again for launching both a Hong Kong bureau and a program on the BBC World News channel—a pair that would overjoy J-school purists, if it didn’t come attached to a magazine that’s looking more like a boutique every day. For those keeping score, Newsweek doesn’t have either.
The line so far is that they funded the new bureau with tote bag sales. Of course, all their revenue goes to the same place, so you might as well say they funded it with blackberry sales, retail money or (gasp!) good old advertising. It’s sort of true, but more than a little unfair.
Still, we’re going to call Good Idea on this one. Here’s why.
Monocle’s empire of shops, advertorials, and label collabs might seem like a conflict of interest, but it isn’t any worse than the crumbling editorial/business wall. It’s just more complicated. As long as the business side is run with a little integrity, they won’t end up with any products they aren’t ready to endorse. Better yet, anyone tremendously impressed by the Monocle brand will be able to carry that into their shopping life—without having to turn to whoever bought the inside cover this month.
All of which is to say, we’re pretty sure GQ would make a hell of a suit. And we’re honestly not sure why they shouldn’t. And if anyone wants to bankroll our suspender line, you know where to find us.
- — Russell Brandom