People magazine has been taken to task for what’s being suggested is a “misleading” headline.
On the front page of its current issue, America’s top selling celebrity weekly (circ: 3,800,000) has a picture of American singer-actress Jessica Simpson, smiling into the camera, with underneath in large bold print the words “’I’m in Love”.
It turns out the quote is actually from an unnamed friend of the star – and in small print the added words “He makes her heart skip” In fact Ms Simpson was never interviewed for the story.
Although this may be a common practice in other celebrity magazines, People has never before been accused of such tactics. According to Prof. Samir Husni, head of the journalism school at the University of Mississippi, People has always taken pride in its ability to land interviews. “If they don’t have the interview they don’t do it” he told the NY Times.
But lately People has come under increasing pressure from its competitors. Some of which are putting on sales.
US Weekly for example claims its readership is up seven per cent to 1,800,000. In Touch is up six per cent to l,200,000. There are now at least six competing celebrity weeklie. People’s new managing editor Larry Hackett has not commented on the controversy.