Front-Page Ads Adorn 'Time' & 'Sports Illustrated' This Week, And It's Pretty Weird

First, ads started popping up on radio stations. Then it was billboards, magazine pages and television commercials. Sometimes they'll show up randomly in movies and television shows, and if Google has anything to do with it, your fridge. The next step? The ads on the front covers of Time and Sports Illustrated this week.

The ad, for Verizon Wireless, is small. It serves as more of a promotion for an inside page ad, saying "For Best Results Use Verizon See P. 23" below the mailing address. But this is only the beginning. For years, the major players in the magazine industry have resisted pressure to sell cover ads because it would obviously violate widely-observed guidelines from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and because it would disregard the magazine's editorial independence from marketers.

And to add to the big news, Time Inc. is also shopping around a "native placement" ad for the table of contents, according to Ad Age. The table of contents has also been considered off-limits to ads.

Time Inc. is setting the precedent that other magazine giants are sure to follow whether readers like it or not — or even notice. And now some readers are asking the question: Is this the end of the collectors' issue?

Here's TIME:

And here's that ad close up...

We don't know what to think. But we know what the characters from our favorite shows would say...

1. Gilmore Girls' Rory Gilmore

Yeah, that's pretty much how we feel, too.

2. House of Cards' Zoe Barnes

Exactly what reporters should be saying to the publishers when they argue against these new magazine cover ads.

3. How I Met Your Mothers' Robin Scherbatsky

With few words, the disapproval is still evident — the true Robin Scherbatsky way.

4. The West Wing's Danny Concannon

Alright, so maybe Danny's ethics are a bit scewed in most of The West Wing, but at least he doesn't do things just to get an edge on a story, so who's to say that he would enjoy these magazine cover ads? Because really, what kind of Washington Post reporter from the '90s would enjoy those?

5. Scandal's James Novak

Probably the least ethical of them all, James would probably be way OK with these magazine covers. I mean, he was married to the President's Chief of Staff while still covering the White House. How any editor let him get away with that is another question for another day.

Images: TIME/Ad Age