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Now Toronto : Positive Reviews for those who Advertise?


TRIBE Promoter
I've heard many people speak up this thought before. Now magazine gives preferential treatment to those who advertise in their magazine. It seemed to make sense, based on some of their selections for top spots - as well as some of the negative reviews they've given.

I've never seen any "Proof" until now. Today, Buddha Pie posted the following on facebook:

Dear buudha Pie customers...We take this moment to share a story with you...NOW magazine just rated us a POSER in the pizza business.Now we understand that everyone has a right to an opinion but help us figure this out...Last year NOW magizine gave us the award for best Specialty Pizza in the junction(voted by you guys),,This year from an email sent to us from Jennifer Hudson in marketing,she is quoted saying she eats here and we should advertise in the up coming issue because they are reviewing pizza in toronto..WE had to decline because of funds.. WELL..the new issue came out today and well read it yourselves,,,I decided to call the other owners slated in the losers section and found out they never advertised either! Upon calling NOW and asking a few questions I was told I will get a call back from someone to talk to us about the issue.PS We noticed that no chain pizza places were slammed this badly...Thoughts?

NOW came in and denied everything, of course. But, they've also deleted any positive review of Buddha pie in their articles comments.

Are peoples panties all tied up in a not - or is this common in the industry?


TRIBE Member
NOW sucks. they like to position themselves as this "alternative weekly" but yet IIRC 2 of the 3 "best computer stores" when the last "toronto's best" issue came out were national chains (best buy, apple) and the 3rd was (wait for it...) carbon, who has run a 1/3 page ad on the 3rd or 4th page of NOW as long as ive been living in toronto.

its such crap. i sent them an email asking about it and never even got the courtesy of a "go fuck yourself" reply.
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TRIBE Member
also, their music reviews are completely unbiased and free of any payola or undue influence. wink wink
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TRIBE Member
Can't speak for Now but in bridal this happens all the time. Pure politics. Magazines' editorials should be called advertorials instead. Sad but true.

But, Now has the readers best-of, so obviously the readers think best buy is the best computer store.


TRIBE Promoter
i made comment similar to videotronic's and was replied to by NOWs editor.

his argument is that in cases of Toronto's best - it's picked by the reader.

the Best Of picks are voted on BY READERS, and are not impacted by NOW's editorial stance. so its the READERS who voted for Best Buy, Carbon, etc. this isn't selected or stacked by now to reflect our advertisers. yes, Carbon does run and ad. Carbon is also an excellent computer store, regardless of that. this also explains why Buddha Pie placed in last year's Best Of (voted on by readers) but not in our best pizza issue (selected by NOW's food editor). the movie that makes the most money at the box office on the weekend isn't necessarily the critic's pick, you know? Sincerely, NOW's online editor.
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TRIBE Member

have you been? you'd actually like the owner, trippy dude. great pizza.

not surprised his grammar isn't the greatest though.


Staff member
Many years ago, I realized THEN was rewarding their advertisers by giving them a cheap plaque and some ink props when the Spanish Centre, a huge advertiser in THEN, always won in the best foreign language schools category and 'best place to meet girls' every year, for years. They probably even won in other categories too. I remember joking about it in an editorial in TRIBE. It was like giving them the Foreign Language plaque wasn't enough reward for all the advertising they bought in THEN, they had to win miss congeniality too.

Giving an advertiser a cheap plaque or trophy is a small price to pay for sucking $$$$ out of them. It is something they can post on their door and admire, and maybe it might influence some potential customers to sign up, but it is without meaning in any kind of real popularity contest.

I haven't opened THEN in years.... Do they award condo/loft developers for best condo now? I bet they do...
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TRIBE Member
Every newspaper runs some advertorial - journalistic integrity doesn't sell ad space - or papers for that matter.

Yellow journalism and shilling is nothing new. NOW is just more blatant.


TRIBE Member
This isn't all that surprising. It is a business after all.

Kat has won best Salon for the last two years and they haven't spent a dime on advertising anywhere.

Also my friends who run The Future of Francis Watson won best (womens?) clothing store. They were phoned up and asked if they wanted to buy advertising and said no. When the issue came out- they ended up putting a 1/4 page write up about them.

I wouldn't say its all nefarious. Everyone needs some kind of revenue. Obviously black mail and extortion is out of line though.
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