THE DAILY FRONT ROW’S PAY FOR PLAY: Fashion tabloid The Daily Front Row has begun employing a pay-for-play strategy, WWD has learned. Business-side representatives from The DFR have approached publishers with a deal: Namely, the DFR’s reporters will write stories if they purchase advertisements in the paper. The tabloid has ramped up this aggressive approach since 2014, according to sources with knowledge of such transactions.

The DFR did not return calls or e-mails seeking comment.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2015 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Although at many glossy fashion magazines the exchange between publishers over buying ads sometimes includes a nudge for editorial coverage, it has become more blatant at the DFR, insiders said. Those sources pointed to the tabloid’s media coverage, which is amped up during fashion week and during the summer. For example, Condé Nast Traveler publisher Bill Wackermann gave the paper a “Hampton’s How-to,” puff interview. Similar stories are pitched to publishers to feature their Hamptons parties or homes with the not-so-tacit understanding that they will buy an ad in exchange.

Insiders also pointed to the DFR’s Feb. 14-15 issue, which features several lighter Q&As with editors from titles at Hearst and Condé Nast. In that issue, Elle’s creative director Alex Gonzalez got a three-page spread, while Hearst president of digital Troy Young nabbed his own one-page Q&A. Condé Nast Traveler editor in chief Pilar Guzman and husband Chris Mitchell, who serves as Vanity Fair’s publisher, were featured in a story entitled: “It Takes Two,” while Style.com’s editor Dirk Standen talked about “being the arbiter of style.”

Usually ads from those publishers appear in later issues, creating “more bang for your buck,” a source noted. And about that buck — ads usually cost between $5,000 and $8,000 — but they are negotiable in terms of cost and when the ad will be placed.

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