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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 05 Separated At Birth Page 1

Florida Travel + Life and Budget Travel --Separated at Birth?

It's an editor's nightmare. You've got the perfect photo for a magazine cover. The issue arrives... and you discover that an editor at another publication had the same great idea.

By Richard Truesdell

Monthly print magazines are completed 30 to 60 days before they appear in your mailbox or on the local newsstand. For editors Patricia Letakis of Florida Travel + Life and Nina Willdorf of Budget Travel, their publications' current covers show that great ideas have many parents.

Both covers feature a brown-haired guy behind the wheel with a blond companion in the passenger seat of a MINI convertible on a coastal road. (The MINIs represent two different generations, but only a car geek would notice that.) I assume we're looking at the Atlantic Ocean off to the left on the Florida Travel + Life cover, while the scene on Budget Travel sure looks like California to me.

Coincidentally, we selected a similar shot as the opening image for Debi Lander's Florida Keys feature in an issue of Automotive Traveler earlier this spring. Since an online-only magazine like ours requires no 30- to 60-day lead before publication, this means all three of our design teams were working on similar concepts about the same time.

In our case, though, the happy couple was driving a Ford Thunderbird--and the blond was at the wheel.

The winner in all of this is MINI, which received the subliminal influence of having its convertibles on the covers of two newsstand magazines at the same time.