Dallas Observer Sells Cover to Shiner

ObserverI did a double-take when I saw the cover of this week’s Observer. As you can see, it’s a Shiner ad. As you can see if you look very closely, it says “paid advertisement” at the bottom, in the gold border. The Morning News does something sorta like this periodically, where an ad wraps around the front page. But those ads never obscure the entire front page. The News, though, doesn’t have a cover. For a periodical with an actual cover, I believe this is an unusual move, giving over the whole thing while incorporating your logo into an ad. I emailed the editor of the Observer, Joe Tone, to ask him about the deal.

JOURNALIST: Does the Shiner ad make you happy?
TONE: Shiner does make me happy, until number 5 or 6, at which point I tend to get sleepy.

JOURNALIST: Is this a local buy or is every paper in the chain doing this?
TONE: Dallas and Houston, I’m pretty sure.

JOURNALIST: Is this the first time an ad has been the cover of the Observer?
TONE: The ad isn’t the cover. The cover is the cover. The ad is around the cover. I like to think of it like a hug.

JOURNALIST: Next week, will you please make the Hot Chocolate Chat ad your cover?
TONE: I don’t know what that is but assume it has something to do with what the Fox says?

JOURNALIST: I understand if you can’t tell me how much Shiner paid for your cover. But how much would I have to pay for your soul?
TONE: Less than the ad costs, I assure you.


  • DanKollerPeople

    Quick did this a couple of times.

    • Tim Rogers

      Did Quick do this when it was healthy? Or did Quick do it when it was desperately hanging on for its dear life?

  • Anonymous

    Somehow I thought there might be something useful in this Q&A. Unfortunately I just lost 2 minutes of my life I can never get back.

  • Peter Kurilecz

    so is wick figuring out how much he can sell D’s cover space for?

  • Tim Rogers

    If it took you two minutes to read those five questions and their answers, then you have a problem. In any case, after you wasted those two minutes, thank you for taking what I assume must have been upwards of an hour to type your comment.

  • DanKollerPeople

    As I recall, these cover wraps happened during the salad days.

  • David Burrows

    Is this the print version of.. Content Marketing?

  • Jason

    You all are depressing me. I shot the Quick covers, and I shot the real Observer cover behind this ad wrap. Maybe you can make up for it by coming to the Kettle Art Gallery opening tonight? What if I get there and see my art piece wrapped in an ad tonight?

  • anonymous

    Really D Magazine? How many Doctors/Lawyers pay you a shit load to be in your “best doctors or lawyer in dallas” issues? BORING. This is a real newsworthy piece, thank you

  • DanKollerPeople

    Ah, a slight variation on the “must be slow news day” cpmment, with an allusion to the classic “best doctors listings are paid for” theory. Well played, sir or madam.

  • vseslav botkin

    This is not an unusual move. I’m sure any offset press around will tell you false covers and cover wraps like this are pretty common. I believe inclusion of the logo has some kind of post office implications, and as I’m sure you know, that can be significant.

  • Jack Jett

    Pot/Kettle Infinity = Balls.

  • Brett Moore

    You know what would be a handy invention? A time machine that gives comment trolls their 2 minutes back. Or maybe a bot that auto-composes comments for them.

  • Brett Moore

    He also wants his 2 minutes back.

  • Also Peter

    There’s group think, and now there is also apparently group-reply in your office.

  • Mike Kimbro

    I would actually like to THANK Tim for helping me wasting those two minutes that would have otherwise been spent working. Chapeau!

  • Jason Hensel

    A friend who lives closer to Fort Worth than I do says that the “latest Fort Worth Weekly had the exact same cover wrap ad by Shiner.”

  • Wick Allison

    Dear Shiner:

    My number is 214-939-3636. Operators are standing by.

    Your friend,


    • joeptone

      Ooh, those bottles will look cool in glossy.

    • RAB


      I forgot to mention this idea at lunch. I knew I had three.

    • Jack Jett

      Wick…Call Pete Sessions…he is full of Shiner.

  • Tim Rogers

    That’s pretty weak, Also Peter. Actually In N Out wouldn’t cooperate with that story. We had to fly a photographer to California and surreptitiously shoot their burgers. He stayed in a hotel near a restaurant, bought burgers, ferried them back to a “studio” he’d created, and shot them. Eventually, the manager of the place caught on and asked him why he kept coming in to buy more burgers. The cover burger was actually something we concocted back here in Dallas.

    Want to take another stab at this? Pick another cover you think we sold?

  • anonymous

    Brett Moore are you a comment troll? Apparently.

  • Francis Pantless

    @Tim – do you mean implicitly selling the cover or explicitly selling the cover? I doubt you explicitly sold your cover to In-n-Out or anyone ever. Whether you did or didn’t, how would you know? You’ve and your editors always claimed that editorial and advertising are like church and state at D.

    Regardless, I would argue you implicitly sell the cover about 5-8 times/year on average. For example.

    “Hi, this is [cute, 20-something, perky marketing gal] of D Magazine. Congratulations! You are on the ballot for our upcoming [Best Restaurants, Best Suburbs, Best of D, Best Waffles] issue in a few months!” *

    And then,
    “Hi, this is [cute, 20-something, perky advertising gal] of D Magazine. Would you be interested in advertising for our upcoming “Best Of” issue?” *

    * Not actual script. Dramatization edited for clarity and brevity.

  • Brett Moore

    No, I’m a comment troll comment troll. But I have the testicular fortitude to sign my name.

  • Chris

    You win the internets today.

    Something about Kettles and black.