A native ad for Fidelity will appear on the cover of the latest issue of Forbes, which hits newsstands today. The ad is on the actual cover – it’s not part of a foldout or second cover.
Forbes introduced its native-advertising product in 2010, when it was called AdVoice. It allowed advertisers to post content directly to the magazine's website.
Forbes was among the first publications to fully embrace native advertising – a tactic where ads seek to mimic editorial content – but the cover treatment takes the practice into mostly uncharted waters for magazines.
That’s because putting ads on magazine covers remains one of the last remaining taboos in an industry under so much financial pressure that it’s now enlisting editors to work with advertisers. Last year, Time Inc., the nation’s largest magazine publisher, ran tiny ads for Verizon Wireless on the cover of Time and Sports Illustrated. But it has not repeated the tactic.
The Fidelity ad on Forbes’ cover teases an infographic about retirement, which is the editorial theme of the issue. Fidelity paid for the two-page infographic to appear in the issue as part of a larger ad buy with Forbes that includes print and digital.