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Every advertisement in the next issue of The New Yorker magazine has been taken out by a Canadian government, business, or institution. (The New Yorker)
Every advertisement in the next issue of The New Yorker magazine has been taken out by a Canadian government, business, or institution. (The New Yorker)

The New Yorker magazine inundated with Canadian ads Add to ...

There's already one clear winner to emerge from the G8 and G20 summits: The New Yorker magazine.

Every ad bought in the current issue, which hit the stands Monday as the world's attention began turning to Ontario for this week's meetings, has been taken out by a Canadian government, business, or institution, including the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the city of Ottawa, the money management firm Gluskin Sheff, RBC, the University of Toronto's Rotman School, and Trinity College School of Port Hope, Ont.

The federal government's six-page ad buy alone cost an estimated $856,000 (U.S.).

This is the first time in the magazine's 85 years that a collection of advertisers united by a single theme has taken over the New Yorker's ad pages.

"As we were thinking about how exciting it was about the G8 and G20 summit, we thought how great it would be for the collective power of Canada to come together in The New Yorker to really articulate all the things that are positive about Canada - as a place to do business, a place to visit, a place to attend school," said Lisa Hughes, the magazine's vice-president and publisher, who noted the issue had been in the works for several months.

Five pages bought by the federal government promote the country as "a great place to do business," including one featuring a photo taken moments after the men's Olympic hockey team won gold last February, with Sidney Crosby proudly waving a giant Canadian flag as his teammates look on. The ad, which seeks to attract foreign investment, declares: "We're world champions now … Not just in hockey."

The only mention of the summits in the entire issue comes in small type at the bottom of an Ontario ad touting the province's commitment to clean energy.

The Canadian Tourism Commission bought the back cover after being told other domestic advertisers had signed on. "The goal is to have a halo effect with the other Canada presence," said Margaret Nevin, a spokeswoman for the commission.

The New Yorker positions itself as a liberal journal of politics, intellectual trends and the arts for "thought leaders" in the power centres of the U.S., who are more likely to travel outside of the country and bring investment to places like Canada. It claims paid circulation of 1,040,000, including 26,075 in Canada.

While some of the magazine's marquee contributors are Canadian - including Malcolm Gladwell and the illustrators Bruce McCall and Barry Blitt - none is in the current issue. Still, the bestselling medical writer Oliver Sacks contributes a six-page account of the curious case of Howard Engel, the Canadian novelist who awoke one morning in the summer of 2001 to find familiar things (including his Globe and Mail) suddenly seeming strange and indecipherable. Will New Yorker readers, confronted with a blanket of ads about Canada, feel the same way?

Follow on Twitter: @simonhoupt

 

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