Shawn McCreesh of New York Magazine writes about the Financial Times decision to change the name of its How to Spend It magazine to HTSI.
McCreesh writes, “Admittedly ‘the title gets up many people’s noses,’ as Lucia van der Post, one of How to Spend It’s former editors told me of the old name. But the rebrand does seem like hollow virtue signaling. I emailed Ellison to ask why the house organ of the golden calf suddenly lost its sybaritic nerve. ‘I don’t really know what you mean by virtue signalling in this context,’ Ellison wrote back from the Faroe Islands. ‘There are many luxury brands and labels who will have been profoundly affected by the war in Ukraine. Likewise the pandemic. While we would never change our coverage to focus on any news subject exclusively, I think it would be naive to pretend that world events aren’t happening. I don’t think any magazine can exist in the modern era without acknowledging, reflecting and responding intelligently to the times we live in — even if that simply means reflecting on how consumer tastes have changed. Which they have, as I said, we have broadened our content considerably to become more news reactive and it has only become stronger and more widely read as a result. I know what our role is — and it is mostly to be diverting and aspirational. But a magazine still has to be relevant, no?'”
Read more here.