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We did 4 1/2 years in the "enthusiast" publishing bidness i.e., mags for people who like to hop up their vehicles. And while we encountered a lot of pressure from ad sales guys to get their clients into stories (which ultimately became so oppressive that we basically quit writing feature stories because we felt like we were doing a disservice to our readers including 25 advertisers we weren't allowed to say a bad word about in a 4,000-word story on engine building became an exercise in packaging, rather than crafting an engaging and informative read). And now we just heard from a reliable source who once toiled within Primedia's walls that the edict just came down that as far as their enthusiast pubs go, one must sign a multi-ad contract to have a product reviewed.

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The thing is this we know guys over there, and some of 'em are really good people who are passionate about cars, trying to make a living doing what they love. And there's long been a parts/cars-for-ink exchange between writers and manufacturers. Which doesn't bug us too much, because generally, when writers are working on their own vehicles, they want to equip them with the best parts possible, because Lord knows they'd never be able to afford them on their own meager salaries.

However, when the wallets of the ad guys start dictating what goes into magazines, that's when things start to get beyond sticky and into full-ectoplasm slimy. Seriously, the arrogance of this maneuver has us screaming for a boycott. It's not just gross, it's completely fucking unethical. Needless to say, what little shreds of journalistic credibility magazines under the Primedia umbrella still had have been blown into the weeds like a Lada Niva against a Trophy Truck on a SCORE track.

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