Feel conned after buying….

… yet another home design magazine that’s full of advertisements masquerading as ‘featured homes’. Seems to be a disgusting practice that is prevalent in Singapore magazines. If you have ever browsed through the local mags, I’m sure you would have seen those ads. Problem is that unsuspecting home owners may actually think that those are featured homes rather than ads. Super sneaky. >_<

The trick to identify those advertisements in regular magazine issues is to pay attention to the section headers that are typically on the upper left/right corners. Whether they are call ‘Professional Placements’, ‘Special feature’ or ‘Designer home’ or whatever name the magazine editors have given to these wanna be featured homes, there is a difference in terms of the style of the pictures used (since the companies all use different photographers) and the way the ads are written (vs actual magazine featured homes). A dead giveaway is the presence of some really OMG-why-is-this-even-featured renovations. [Ok, I’m really not saying that the homes are horrible, just that some are really not up to being featured in magazines standard which is probably why the IDs have to buy ads anyway]

The problem comes with those ‘special’ features, supplements, designer awards or annual award type of magazine supplements that are so popular with the average reader in the market.  It’s the entire freaking supplement and not just part of the magazine so how do you tell right?  I have a suspicion that every single one of these are placements and not actual awards. If not, why are those gorgeous homes featured in Singapore Tatler, Habitus, Home & Decor, etc not getting awards in those annual supplements? Makes no sense right? How believable is it that not a single one of those Ong&Ong interior projects or the ones from Sentosa Cove being featured?  Not at all right? Plus you also have those really OMG-why-is-this-even-featured renovations peppered throughout the issue. Of course there are some nice renos in those supplements cos some of the IDs do have nice reno… I just don’t think that being featured depends purely on ID merit/talent.

Anyway, this is obviously a no photograph post. Not like I can post some ads or extracts from magazines. No names too cos I don’t wish to be sued.  But yeah, this is what happens when I’m waiting for the laundry and feel irritated at paying $8 for a mag full of disguised placements. Think there are like 2 ‘real’ features and more than 10 fake ones. Puke.

Grrr… really have to remember which mags to put on my ‘blacklist’.

Edit: After typing the above I went back and flipped thru the mag. Think the dead giveaway is really the super prominent placement of the ID’s name and contact.  Most of the real features will just mention the designer’s name inside the article only.  The pseudo-articles will include all contact details.  If you don’t believe me go back and look at the mags you’ve bought and lemme know what you think.

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