Yesterday, we published a propagandist style dispatch that purported to show Hip Hop magazine XXL dishing scurrilous informationâ€”that probably wasn’t too far off the markâ€”about one of its competitors, Giant, to a major media planning agency. With brands spending decidedly less money and insertion orders becoming more and more scarce, we assumed this was just a new, albeit sleazy, strategy to secure ad dollars. But Harris Publications head honcho, Dennis Page, claims that the rumor mongering memo was not generated by anyone on his team, writing:
I saw the item that was posted today about XXL and want to let you know that this did not come from anyone on my staff. You are right that magazines are facing a challenging environment however it is not our style to spread malicious rumors about competitors. I have spoken with my entire staff and no one sent this letter. We are reaching out to Mindshare to see if they can tell us the source.
Unfortunately for Mr. Page, a reliable source tells us this isn’t the first time that XXL has resorted to such gully and underhanded tactics. It wasn’t too long ago that VIBE and The Source were also targeted in the same fashion. A commenter on Gawker speculated that if the publisher wasn’t directly involved, perhaps his right hand man, Jon Rheingold, wasâ€”a name that has also been tossed around from what we hear. Although the staff at The Source has been dispersed someone has to have one these other examples lying around. Send them in.