Dear Advertisers in Gourmet Magazine,

Wow! As I flipped through the October 2007 Gourmet, I couldn't help but be struck by the great looks of your new products. As someone who's in the process of renovating her kitchen, I'm on the lookout for things to buy. And as you purchased advertising space in a magazine about food, I suspect you're interested in reaching me in the hopes I may buy your sinks and stoves and refrigerators. Alas, you have failed.

ELKAY, your new Avado Collection looks great. But why no mention of it whatsoever on your website? You know, the one you offer the link to in your ad? And Kenmore, you announce an entirely new line of appliances called Kenmore PRO, but the URL you give me redirects to your front page. Only with some poking around can I even locate the PRO line, and when I do, it's a Flash mess that's all style and no substance. Do you even offer a 36" stove? Who knows?

My little pile of ads that I so carefully tore out of Gourmet for research purposes is now headed to the recycling bin. I'm moving on to websites that actually provide information about the products I'm interested in.

Stainless steely yours,

10 thoughts on “Dear Advertisers in Gourmet Magazine,

  1. Brutal. Nicely noted.
    Print ads in Saveur get me riled up.
    Lots of crap I won’t buy.
    I hate being a target market but
    I love product testing.
    Bosch engineers nice things.
    I’d go in that direction.

  2. Wow, I’m not even a cookaholic and I could figure out the Kenmore site. Sure it could be better, but what’s so difficult about it?
    1) Go to, click on the “Kitchen” tab and select “Kenmore PRO Appliances”
    2) On the left, click on “Ranges and Cooktops”.
    3) Read the list. There are three 36″ models.
    (You can alternatively click on the graphic on the front page that says “Take your kitchen to the next level” and then click on “Products” in the Flash thing, and mouse over the items in the virtual kitchen to get product info. Still pretty straightforward, and I even hate Flash!)
    Are you just having a bad day?

  3. That made me laugh seeing as how I posted my own “Dear Gourmet Magazine” letter just a couple of days ago. My peeve: Their Taco Deception.

  4. Are you just having a bad day?
    Not really. I mean, shouldn’t the link “” take you to that information? That’s the link they put in their ad. And I did go to the Flash thing, maybe it hung my browser and I didn’t realize it, but when I moused over the range nothing else happened. Since I’d already been pouring over the ELKAY site looking for the sink they’d advertised, I guess my patience was too short to go back to the front page again and navigate through Kitchens, etc. Really, they shouldn’t put a non-working URL into their ad copy. That’s just dumb.

  5. This happens pretty often when I’m trying URLs out from Sunset or Dwell. My guess is that the marketing department that places the ad doesn’t actually tell the web team when it will show up in people’s mailboxes. That basically just wastes their ad money.
    I swear half of the new product URLs end up with 404s in those magazines.

  6. I do see your point.
    Sometimes (and I’m not sure if this was Kenmore’s intention) the urls in magazine ads are used for tracking purposes. This doesn’t seem to be the case here, because the URL is straightforward (‘pro’ instead of ‘promo538’ or somesuch). It really just seems like laziness on their part. Their whole site design is really terrible… You’d think if they are selling $2,000 products they could shell out a few grand for a professional site design, with high res photos, a nice layout, specifications out the wazoo, demonstration videos, etc etc etc.

  7. I couldn’t agree more! Because of stuff like this I gave up my Gourmet subscription and switched to Food and Wine

  8. Oh, that’s nothing. Just take a look at the news releases these companies send. See how they, oops!, forget to include ingredient information and nutritional information and other key items. Oh, sure, they tell you how wonderful the product is, but where are the facts?
    Facts without hype is just hot air. And as helpful.

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