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Gathering No Moss

September 15, 1985|John M. Wilson \f7

It's too awesome: Rolling Stone, once the bastion of the counterculture, bragging that most of its readers voted for Ronald Reagan in the last election? The Stone has shifted from left to right?

It happened last week. The Stone paid $37,739 for a glossy 12-page insert in Advertising Age magazine to convince advertisers that its audience is the kind "you can take to the bank."

"It's absolutely true--most of our readers voted for the President like the rest of the country," said Kent Brownridge, Rolling Stone's general manager. "What (the ad campaign) really suggests is that we've changed with the times, which any successful publication does." The series of color pages juxtaposes such images as a longhaired hippie and a clean-cut yuppie, and ends with a dour George McGovern opposite a beaming Ronald Reagan. The kicker is a quote from the 1967 Beatles ("All you need is love"), topped by one from this season's Tina Turner: "What's love got to do with it?"

Does that imply that money and consumerism, not love, is the name of the game at the mag these days? Said Brownridge: "We've never been anything but that."

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