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MUCH ADO: Angelina Jolie takes yet another cover turn on a glossy magazine on the July newsstand-only issue of Harper’s Bazaar. But eagled-eye fashionistas recognized her over-the-shoulder pose and red-carpet lighting immediately. Sure enough, the photo is a Getty Images one taken in December at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” There is no interview with Jolie inside; rather, the feature is an essay by Naomi Wolf on the actress’ appeal.
The use of a wire photo as a cover image set off a firestorm of complaints in the blogosphere, with theories ranging from cost cutting to a cover subject dropping out at the last minute. The subscriber cover features model Doutzen Kroes, shot by Terry Richardson.
So why not just put her on both issues? A spokeswoman for the magazine said, “Clearly, we are in an Angelina moment right now, and in a recent online poll, our readers reinforced that, overwhelmingly choosing Angelina as the woman they admired most for having it all. We responded immediately, asking Naomi Wolf to analyze the Angelina phenomenon and rushing to get her photo on the newsstand cover. We’ve done different covers for subscriber copies since 2001.”
But observers were still puzzled. “It’s a sad state when a legitimate [fashion] magazine goes to the lengths of doing a write around. That’s saved for tabloids,” said one Hollywood publicist. Some bloggers believed using Jolie may have been a ploy to boost newsstand sales.
According to figures from Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Rapid Report, newsstand numbers for Bazaar have fallen 15 percent so far this year through April, to an average of about 155,000 copies. Comparatively, Vogue’s newsstand sales are up 4 percent so far this year, averaging around 400,000 copies through April, a bounce buoyed in part by landing First Lady Michelle Obama for its March cover. Elle’s newsstand sales through April are off 16 percent; W’s single copy sales are off 9 percent, and, through March, InStyle’s single copy sales have dropped 20 percent compared to the same period last year. — S.D.S.