Following on the heels of Rolling Stone and XLR8R, it seems that another national music publication is trying to bend the rules about ads and content: Did Blender Blur Ad-Edit Line?.
Folio Magazine describes the special section layout as "(a) 16-page new music preview sponsored by Sync, Microsoft’s in-car voice-activated technology. In it, a small logo that reads "Presented by Sync/Powered by Microsoft" appears on five of the section’s 10 editorial pages, with the other six pages devoted to Sync-related ads. Four of those logos ask readers to log onto fordvehicles.com/sync for free MP3 downloads."
Unlike the RS and XL, there hasn't been an uproar or lawsuits yet so the lesson may be that if all's relatively quiet, such incursions into editorial might be worth the risk, not just for Blender but for other magazines as well. It's a tough time for mags (Walmart just said they're cutting some 1000 magazines off their shelves) and they're desperate to find ways to keep afloat but when they get this desperate, that ain't a good sign.