Some months I can’t wait for my new issue of Prevention magazine to arrive, just so I can see how they’ve stretched the envelope this time.
How about this month’s cover, trumpeting a Cancer Vaccine Breakthrough in big yellow font at lower left of the cover?
So I started flipping through the Table of Contents for the big story. Hmmm….nothing there. Odd.
So I started flipping through the pages of tips for “jiggle-proof arms and abs” and such and….voila…on page 13 I found the big story under another “Cancer Breakthrough” heading.
In 16 words in that little box, I learned that a vaccine was “moving into the testing phase.”
Usually, reasonable people would wait until we’ve moved out of the testing phase before declaring something a breakthrough.
But, hey, the cover worked like a publisher’s dream. It sucked me in. Hiding the 16-word meat of the story away from the Table of Contents sucked me in even further, forcing me to scan the ads and the features that read like ads.
Years ago, patients urged me to write my column entitled, “The 7 Words You Shouldn’t Use in Medical News.”
Breakthrough was one of them. This is the kind of story they had in mind.