Cargo Drops Its Load

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From the newly redesigned New York Times website:

The lesson to be learned from the death of Cargo is not that guys don’t like to shop, spend money or moisturize; or that Cargo was too gay or too straight; or that the cultural phenomenon of the metrosexual never really existed. The real culprit behind the decision last week to close Cargo, the men’s shopping magazine, would have to be the stickers.
In each issue for two years Cargo included a page of peel-off tabs marked Buy or Save, so readers could neatly note their potential purchases while thumbing through features on cellphones, flat-screen televisions and dark-wash jeans.
“I love shopping,” said Bart Ianantuoni, a Manhattan personnel executive who gave up on Cargo after reading a few issues because he was offended by the presentation. “Stickers? They’re treating men like teenage girls. I’m a guy. If I want something in a magazine and think I can’t remember it, I’m going to tear the page out.”
Jimmy Jellinek, editor in chief of Stuff, the schoolyard bully of shopping magazines, says shopping for men is about asserting status, but Cargo was lost in its enthusiasm to bring style to everyman. “They failed to realize how men shop,” Mr. Jellinek said. “You don’t buy a cellphone based on what it does for you as much as it matches your sneakers. Shopping is about using possessions as a means to augment your power.”

I believe the stickers or tabs, is a trying-too-hard motif which ends up skewing the very idea of a magazine away from content and towards a catalog of sponsors’ products.
Regarding Jellinek’s assertion that men shop to “augment their power,” I can’t think of a more obtuse declaration. Some puny girlie men may do so, but most men don’t think that deeply about such things. They simply respond to an object with a yeah or nay. That’ll work, or it won’t.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.adpulp.com Shawn

    Sync (similar, but more tech focused) also bit the dust a couple issues ago.
    tough sector.

  • cool

    You sound like real weirdo, mabye us normal people seem like weridoes to you, but you aree a real weirdo

  • t

    cargo didn’t fail because of the stickers. i’ve bought that magazine a handful of times and never once noticed the stickers. the problem with cargo (and why i didn’t read it more often) was that it was boring. stuff magazine is funny and entertaining. cargo was not. it’s really that simple.