Feature

A backlash against Bieber?

Vanity Fair’s February Bieber cover will probably be the monthly magazine’s worst-selling issue in 12 years.

Justin Bieber is a bomb, at least for magazine companies, said John Koblin in Women’s Wear Daily. New data show that Vanity Fair’s February Bieber cover—in which he is smothered in lipstick kisses—will probably be the monthly magazine’s worst-selling issue in 12 years. That will come as little surprise to editors at People magazine, which ran a Bieber cover photo and an “All About Justin Bieber” headline in April 2010. That issue was the weekly’s third-worst seller last year.

So why is the 17-year-old Canadian singer such a bust? Could it be that 12-year-olds aren’t big magazine buyers? It doesn’t appear to be quite that simple. Even Bieber’s October 2010 cover of Teen Vogue—which presumably attracts a “more ideal demographic”—had sales that were 12 percent below the magazine’s 2010 average.

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