How to Read Wired Magazine: Razor Blade Required

User clarkburbidge has written an Instructable that teaches a reader of Wired magazine how to quickly and efficiently remove the annoying “invasive advertising,” thus resulting in a more gratifying reading experience. He also suggests that readers contact Wired to express their displeasure at the number of annoying “glued in” or “thick page” ads by emailing the editor to congratulate them for using fewer “bad ads” this month:


Your magazine is great. I love it all… all but the invasive advertizing. My monthly ritual of de-magositing my Wired, was utterly painless. The 4 “Subscribe to Wired” cards all but fell out. No extra thick pages, gummed in advert books, or “look at me I’m a 4 page spread in 2 pages” fold outs? Is this a fluke or a new direction. I hope the later!

Willing to pay $40 for less advertizing (and less invasive advertizing)!


If you would like to send a similar email encouraging the good trend seen in this months Wired do so by emailing

We used to subscribe to Wired ourselves until we grew tired of these very ads, which are not just in Wired but in tons of magazines. —MEGHANN MARCO

How to Read Wired Magazine [Instructables]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Good idea. I have to do it every month for the few I actually read.

    [grammar nazi]

    I’d use real words though (de-magositing? really?) and the correct spellings (e.g. latter) if you’d like any complaint (or even praise) to be taken seriously.

    [/grammar nazi]

  2. joopiter says:

    Every time I have to design a subscription card insert for the magazine I work for, I say a silent apology to the readers on the receiving end. Sorry guys! It’s my job! I hate them too!

    Those heavy-stock insert ad pages mean HUGE ad revenue for the magazine, so unless everyone who complains about them actually follows up by cancelling their subscription, I highly doubt anything is going to change.

  3. winnabago says:

    A subscription to Wired only costs 10 bucks (or less) anyway, so I can usually take a few ads that stick out in exchange. But that’s me. I actually liked some they have done in the past, stickers & tracing templates that were for, I believe, Mini autos.

  4. matto says:

    I used to read Wired too, until the writing started to suck.
    Too bad that was within it’s first year.

    Back then I was idealistic and naive, and expected a tech journalist to either be a subject matter expert, or at least do research with someone who was.

  5. Poseidon says:

    Just so you know, those ads are called “tip-ins.” Advertisers pay loads of cash to be allowed to choose their own paper type, and are typically required to produce the ads in-house, so they’re an extremely high profit/low production cost choice for any magazine that will accept them.

  6. kaycee says:

    I’ve always wondered how profitable these ads can be for advertisers. When I read a magazine, the first thing I do is tear out all of those ads and throw them away without looking at them.

    I’m kind of an advertiser’s nightmare, though. I don’t pay attention to almost all forms of advertising. For example, I don’t watch TV unless it’s pre-recorded, so I can skip commercials.

    I have to say, though, that Sonic’s commercials are somewhat entertaining, even though I don’t eat there.

  7. Kenton Davis says:

    I take all of the subscription cards and promptly deposit them in my building’s mail box. The way I see it, I get to vent my frustration, Wired has to pay the postage and the US postal Service makes a few pennies: Everybody gets their due

  8. pestie says:

    The color scheme in magazines like Wired generally means I have to wear sunglasses to read them without going blind.

  9. whoiseric says:

    They have those dang 25 free songs in comic books now. Can’t remember for sure but I think it is DC and they should take them out.

  10. Dustbunny says:

    What really annoys me is when the subscription cards are in magazines I already subscribe to. Is there no way to only put the cards in the copies that are sold at newsstands and keep ’em out of the issues mailed to subscribers? Grrrr.

  11. Myron says:

    I think its tough titties for you. Wired doesn’t give a shit if the ads get in your way. That’s what the ads are designed to do. Wired might care if you stopped buying the magazine. That’s your only recourse.

  12. You-Me-Us says:

    Quite a few magazines I subscribe to do this (GQ, Esquire, Details, Maxim, and I’m sure the women’s mags do it too). When a new issue comes in, the first order of business is go through ripping out anything that isn’t the same size or paper stock as the rest of the magazine. Most of it goes in the trash, but anything with that easy-to-spot “business reply mail” printed on it goes to the mailbox. I’m already subscribing to your magazine; I don’t need 6 cards trying to get me to subscribe. I also do this with any unsolicited junk mail. I like to think all the empty envelopes I’ve sent back to Capital One are the reason they have to charge 21% interest.

    Just recently I’ve found that Eqsuire and GQ both have me on some sort of “automatic renewal” plan. Esquire extended my subscription for a year (without my telling them to) and is now sending me bills saying I owe them for another year’s subscription. I paid for last year’s GQ with a credit card and apparantly they kept it on file and just charged it with another year’s subscription when this one was up. Now, I intended to re-subscribe to both of them anyway, but this really pisses me off, so you can bet I’ll be extra sure every single one of those cards goes back to them now.

  13. mrwilson says:

    Unlike Clark, I’d much rather sift through annoying ads and have my subscription cost $10 or $12 per year than pay $40 and have fewer ads. I suspect most consumers would feel the same way, which is likely why we have seen this pattern with magazine ads and subscriptions over the last 15 years or so.

  14. MattyMatt says:

    Those ads were, in fact, one of the reasons I didn’t renew my Wired. The ritual of tearing out all the ads was just too bothersome. (That and the fact that every article felt like an infomercial. They don’t all have to be super-critical John-Stossel-style exposés; but fer crying out loud, it’s like Wired never met a widget they didn’t like.)

  15. cstatman says:


    transitive verb

    : bone
    – de·bon·er noun

    Just like you’d do with a fish.

    I receive all my mags, stand over the recycling bin, and debone them.

    if I subscribe, I mean, I BOUGHT a year’s worth, could I please get a non-ad laced mag?

    nah. selling ads increases revenues. and keeps subscription prices down, I suppose. Plus? I am helping to recycle. right?


  16. Bryan Price says:

    I guess a razor blade would be a bit better than me just pulling the cardboard out.

    I don’t mind the ads so much. And the flip in cards that you can just shake out don’t bother me either. But the weird other crap they put in that mag? I truly just pull them out.