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Old November 6, 2002, 07:51 PM   #26
Double Naught Spy
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Okay, I snagged the one issue of S.W.A.T. that I have in my possession, the Sept 2002 issue. Sure enough, I don't see any of the brands reviewed listed in the advertiser's index. However, several advertisers listed in the index of that issue were of brands that appeared on the covers of other issues. Advertisers in this issue that had products listed on the covers of other issues include D.P.M.S., FN, Insight made the cover of June.

DS Arms advertised in Sept and had a product review on the cover of May.

DPMS advertised in Sept and has product listed on cover of October.

So sure enough, S.W.A.T. definitely accepts advertising from companies for which they often review their products even if the brand reviewed in a given issue doesn't have that manufacturer advertising in that issue.

And Rich, thanks for noting a very salient point. According to you, S.W.A.T. slammed a shotgun and the maker pulled full page advertising. That is only going to happen so many times before it becomes a real financial concern.

S.W.A.T. may do a fine job of reviewing, but the point that S.W.A.T. accepts advertising from the product lines they review is a salient point. This goes for every magazine that accepts advertising from the makers or distributers of products being review, whether it be in cars, electronics, photography, or whatever. It comes with the territory.

I did look through the issue I had and did not notice any description on S.W.A.T.'s policy on the products they review, whether they buy them from vendors without the vendor knowing the product is going to be reviewed or if the product is simply provided to S.W.A.T. for the sole purpose of review. If the products are being provided by the manufacturer, then there is no reason to trust that the product hasn't been selected as a particularly good example by the manufacturer to submit for review. So the product provided to S.W.A.T. by the maker may not be representative of the product line.

S.W.A.T. is a neat rag that provides a lot of neat information. There is no doubt about that, but they are also a magazine like most of the others in the industry and in many industries that accept advertising from the makers of products they review, advertising which helps keep the rag viable and as Rich noted, when they have come down hard on a bad product, they lost $$ and no doubt full page advertising is pretty serious $$. As such, there is a definite conflict of interest. This is not to say that the reviewers, editors, or staff of S.W.A.T. are unethical in any manner, only that a conflict of interest exists. Companies that get bad reviews will drop advertising according to Rich. This is not a not for profit company. And there you have it.
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Old November 6, 2002, 08:39 PM   #27
Rich Lucibella
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This is really getting ponderous.
I don't appreciate having my work referred to as "a rag"...I don't appreciate having the work done by people like Denny, Pat, Rob and a host of others degraded in such baiting manner.

Not any more than you'd appreciate my deducing from your posts that you're obviously a failure in business; frustrated at not getting the "breaks" and skeptical of anyone who puts the product before the profits. Of course, I haven't said such things about you, but I think you get the point. In fact, were you talking about any Member of this Forum but me, you'd have already received an email...from me.

I didn't challenge you to find "some advertisers whose products we reviewed". It's a small industry and you'll always find such. I asked you to back up your smarmy assertions with correlation. Shall I explain the term?

But lemme ask you a couple of things:
What exactly do you do for a living?
Do you take any pride in it, or will you do anything for a buck?

If the former, why would you not afford us the an assumption that we are of equal moral character?
If the latter, why would you assume that we work at your level?

If you knew anything about the way this magazine is run, you'd get your face out of mine.

DS Arms: An innovator in the FN area. Shall we refuse to tell our readers what they're doing because they've been an advertiser since day 1?

Sigarms Academy: You'll find a minimum of five features on them in the last year...not a single ad, though they advertise religiousluy in GWLE

FN: We did a balanced write up on them. They liked it. They called to thank us. They advertised: which should we have refused? The Feature or the Ad?

Insight Tech: To a man, we love their products. We think you should know about them. You will whether they advertise or not...as long as they remain innovative and dedicated. Same with Thunder Ranch. Same with Gunsite.

DPMS: Oh, you mean the guys who have that 3" B/W Ad. Got me there. I absolutely whored myself out for that couple hundred bucks. But then, I'm pretty well known around here for my penchant to do anything for a buck....(note all the banners you've seen since you logged on).

As for slamming products? Your view is the view of a man afraid of failure. We're not...and guess what...betcha Benelli is back within the next 3 issues. They may not have liked the article, but they respect our position...and they respect the guy who wrote it: Louis Awerbuck...you know Louis, doncha? Long time reputation for selling out for a nickel?

Description of our Policies? See, now you are sounding like a frustrated businessman. You want to critique and nitpick a business...just don't want to do any of the work. The Policy is cleary stated on our Web site. If that doesn't work for you, I'd suggest something along the lines of "personal problem".

Conflict of Interest? And now you're sounding like a really small person. I'd hate to think that about you. I have no conflict at all. People worried about a buck have conflicts. Perhaps the "conflict" between making a buck and producing the best product/service you can is foremost in your mind. It's not in mine.

I'm not certain where you get this idea that one must be untruthful or "conflicted" to make money. That's an extraordinarily juvenile view of real business.
Rich Lucibella
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Old November 6, 2002, 09:24 PM   #28
Rich Lucibella
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ps:
Look for a 4 part article on ESI Life Force in the next year. Also note they are now a 2/3 page advertiser....now there's a classic conflict.
Went something like this:
I've had the utmost respect for Bob Dugan since he broke from traditional Hwa Rang Do Masters in the 60's to teach it to Americans. He built a truly remarkable VIP Security training school.

I personally called him for an ad. Within 5 minutes I was no longer interested in the ad...I wanted the editorial (that's what SELLs magazines). Within a day, a deal was made whereby Rob will be going thru the Entire 400 Hour Course. He'll tell our readers what it takes to get thru a program like this: the strengths, weaknesses, curriculum..all of it. He'll tell you, based on his first hand experience in VIP Protection, if it was worth it. (By the way...Rob's the same author that fairly shredded an Israeli Training Course in the July issue.)

Two weeks after finalizing the deal, I revisited the issue of advertising. Dugan didn't ask to see the first installment of the article before making up his mind. He decided that, if we have writers that dedicated, S.W.A.T. was the vehicle for him. Dugan is obviously not "conflicted"...he's confident that he offers value in his products. Rob will tell you if his self confidence is deserved.

Was that a conflict? Not for Me. Not for Bob Dugan. Not for Rob (he gets paid exactly $0 for 400 hours of work...the diploma, if he finishes and if it's of value, is his reward.) If you see a conflict, I suggest you stick to ShotGun news (a worthy publication, by the way. I'm a subscriber.)
Rich
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Old November 6, 2002, 11:14 PM   #29
Tamara
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Car & Driver has had more ads pulled than any other magazine I can think of over the years. Some thirtyish years back, Rolls Royce yanked their ads after one of their cars was referred to as "an example of what attention to detail and a spare no expenses manufacturing philosophy can do for a 1963 Buick". They've never come back. C&D, however, still seems to be thriving.

There's apparently a place in this world for mags that aren't into pulling punches, yet still accept ads.
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Old November 7, 2002, 11:17 AM   #30
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This is getting tedious, but let me give some input from an advertisers standpoint.

I don't think my views are in any way unique. Although I am definitely more thick-skinned than the average advertiser.

The reason I advertise in a book is to reach the readers of this book. There are two factors playing here: the first is the quantity of readers, the second is quality of readers.

I am paying for the service of getting my message in front of these readers. This is what's know as a "marketing controlled message". A consumer will then take this message along with all the other info they have and make some sort of informed decision.

All other information includes: editorial (non-marketing controlled info), online searches (including chatrooms) and influence of friends.

A consumer will (generally) assimilate all this info to make an informed decision.

If there is a huge disparity between the marketing message, editorial and other information, the credibility of the magazine and the advertiser are in serious jeapordy. When this happens subscription rates plummet. Ad rates are based on subscription rates, so if you don't have readers you are out of business anyway.

My point is, Rich's business in dependant on his credibility. People can see through obvious favoritism for advertisers and will stop buying the mag. If people stop buying the mag, people like will won't advertise in it. Get it?

Now there are certain magazines in every industry that people read (for whatever reason) and the understanding between reader and magazine is that they never say anything bad about any product. We've all seen these and they are easy to spot.

They have all glowing product reviews, shootouts with no loosers, poor accuracy is excused, etc...

People see this and weigh this editorial info less heavily than other info sources. (like experience or peer input)

Bottom line: Consumers are pretty sharp. Magazine that whore themselves lose readers. If circulation numbers are down, there's nobody to advertise to. And the spiral goes. But the first step is losing journalistic integrity.

My product has gotten slammed plenty of times. Its resulted in many product improvement and has helped our company. The best magazines will always give a manufacturer a chance to present their side of a bad review. Consumers generally like to hear both sides of a story.

Sorry for the long post, it seems like such a simple issue.

-Z
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Old November 7, 2002, 06:12 PM   #31
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You quite obviously have no idea what you are talking about. I have met these guys in person. In their business credibility comes before money. In fact credibility and reputation is how they make their money. Loose credibility, and suddenly you are just another hack writer with your wonder gun of the week. Keep credibility and they keep their targeted audience, keep the target audience of subscribers and the advertisers will come.

I have met Rich, Denny, Ashley, Rob, Brent, and Flint. They have credibility. They have honor. If they say they are impressed by a piece of gear, I’m going to believe them. Regardless of whether or not the manufacturer advertises in their magazine. I have disagreed with some of their opinions, but then again I know that those opinions are honestly founded in their experience and background. NOT in advertising dollars.

As for what kind of person Rich is when it comes to integrity and money, he won’t even accept a discount from me on any TFL gear, and I’ve tried to give him one. And this is on merchandise that I sell on HIS board. Using his LOGO. And even then he doesn’t want ANYTHING in exchange, and in fact thinks that it is not fair for him to have anything cheaper than any of the regular people on TFL.

Rich is also the kind of person who is stubborn enough to eat a lit cigarette rather than move to a no smoking area when he feels he is being bossed around. I can’t imagine him being cowed by any advertiser.

So 00, maybe you should refrain from talking trash about people you know nothing about.
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Old November 7, 2002, 08:45 PM   #32
KSFreeman
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00,

[disclaimer: I know several SWAT authors and am good friends with several featured guests]

No one hates the gun rags more than me. First, it's just not flowered shirts and imaginary goats; it is people like me that must clean up (or mitigate) the mess where the zealous, but ignorant, emulate doctrine or techniques in their inane articles and things go horribly wrong. "Who said to do THAT! I read it in a gun magazine." Yikes.

Second, I could care less about "product reviews" or how a magazine is "captured" (if a French gun rag, they surrender) by advertisers. That's the free market at work--good, bad and ugly. You can't fool the consumer (for too long).

I have yet to see either of the above in S.W.A.T. Perhaps you can cite some examples of the conduct you detest in SWAT?
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Old November 8, 2002, 10:07 PM   #33
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For the record, the ESI project has expanded to include the following:

450 hrs + 15 day residency in Colorado for CPS cert
450 hrs +20 day residency in Oklahoma for Protective Intelligence Cert

Everyone will get to read about the experience starting in the Spring of 2003.

(also, the ESI shooting module (4 days this past Sept) will be reviewed in the February issue and it is not all flattering....

-Rob
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Old November 9, 2002, 08:13 AM   #34
Pat Rogers
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KS is my hero!

"It's not just flowered shirts and imaginery goats"

I love it! You managed to hit squarely on the head the collective attitude of the "i'm too cool to train" crowd, the "Stop picking on me i AM safe with firearms even if i have hero pics of me with my finger on the trigger" crowd, and the "i don't need no scientific ballistic knowledge" crowd, all in one fell swoop.

I wish i had said that.

May i plagerize this?? I'll even bribe you with a beer or two when we roll into the heartland in the spring!
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Old November 9, 2002, 12:04 PM   #35
KSFreeman
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Careful, Mr. Rogers, you may be flagged for knowingly or intentionally using sarcasm to make a point.

Feel free to copy. It's the public domain and all, including Freeman's Law of Firearms. You can steal idears out swimming around in the public pond.

Love to see you here in the Land of Truth and Justice! I hope you have room for Lebanon (or Lafayette--more and better microbreweries) on your docket.
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Old November 9, 2002, 07:18 PM   #36
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Sarcasm?

Kirk,

Sacsam, and sometimes caustic wit (OK, sometimes a lot mote than that...) are just a few of the weapons necessary to keep the non functional ones (who seem to take great joy on trolling the disinformation cowpath) in check.

Micro breweries?? Ken never told me about those...
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Old November 9, 2002, 08:25 PM   #37
KSFreeman
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If you wish to guide knuckleheads like me over the Errornet, then your arsenal of wit and sarcasm is vast and well-maintained!

Ken? He has a wife and a curfew and like a real job with responsibility (think of all the time he has to spend keeping tabs on Brent Wheat). Come on up 65 thirty minutes and we'll introduce you to Whitetail Wheat, Prophetstown Ale and Oatmeal Stout (yummy). Of course, you may have to run back to Lebanon to burn the carb intake.
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Old November 9, 2002, 09:10 PM   #38
Rich Lucibella
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Are we talking the infamous KC, here?

You'll not be bad-mouthing him on my watch. Why, I've seen Ken down a double Grape NeeHigh with lunch and never make a face!! And you can tell him I said that.

As for Brent:
Fah-Git-Aboud-It.

Rich
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Old November 9, 2002, 09:19 PM   #39
Pat Rogers
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Capt Ken

Yeah, the one and the same.

He is my hero. However- if you wish to wind him up, just casually mention-Catherine Bell.

You will get his attention.
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Old November 11, 2002, 06:17 PM   #40
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A good friend of mine is basically the gadget guru for a gun magazine. Something new appears on the market, he gets to play with it, and write something.

His policy is that if he doesn't have something good to say, he doesn't say anything - he just boxes the gadget up and sends it back. He's had folks get really hacked before just for doing that.

If he REALLY likes something, he buys one for himself.
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Old November 11, 2002, 07:11 PM   #41
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What would one like to read most?
-A magazine that is full of reviews of inferior equipment, just because they are on the market.
OR
-A magazine that writes about the best equipment on the market.

Of course, one can start to wonder when ALL that is written in a magazine is positive.
So, I believe that a magazine should also have reviews of both the best on the market, and also some of the things that are not so good, but that is eighter popular or is new on the market.

What made up my mind to start subscribing to SWAT, was that I saw the article about the Benelli M4, that didn't get a favorable review.
That article alone persuaded me that SWAT is a serious magazine and that they have the same philosophy as mine.

K.
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