What’s a Magalog?

Apologies for the lack of posting. I was up getting my mind blown in the usual ways up at Web of Change, and then had to hop on a plane for points east. I’ve got a couple of long posts on a low parboil in my lizard brain, but in the meantime, here’s an odd ad from last Wednesday’s edition of the Vancouver Sun.

I’d never heard the term ‘magalog’ before. Here’s what Wikipedia offers:

A magalog is a promotional copy of a magazine, usually in a 12-page catalog format. The name is a portmanteau of “magazine” and “catalog”. Magalogs help introduce magazines to new readers. It can also help existing readers see new or upcoming changes, additions, or improvements to the magazine. An alternate use can include catalogs that are presented with content, not just advertising.

So it’s a catalog masquerading as a magazine? Ironically, I didn’t even look at La-Z-Boy’s publication, because it was in the centre of the paper with all the instantly-discardable paper spam.

In any case, I learned a new, rather ugly word. It would be better applied to, I don’t know, some kind of tropical beetle. As in, “Careful, there’s a big magalog by the fridge. Don’t step on it with your bare feet–they’ve got a spiny carapice”.

If I were the copywriter for La-Z-Boy, I’d reconsider using the term in an ad. It feels very much like insider jargon. But, then, maybe they gave the ad to the intern or something, because it surely came free with the, uh, magalog insert.


  1. Perhaps La-Z-Boy (a brand I consider rather old and staid) was trying too hard to be hip and cutting edge?

  2. I disagree with that definition on Wikipedia. I’ve worked in the weird and wonderful word of custom publishing, or branded content as it’s also known (another term I dislike), ie companies that produce their own magazines as soft-sell, added value promotional tools.

    I worked on magalogs (agree it’s jargon and shouldn’t be in an ad), although if it’s a Canadian ad it should be ‘magalogue’, and rather than promotional issues of magazines I would define them as catalogues with articles and other content added. Always thought MEC should turn their catalogue into a magalogue.

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