Let the gifting begin

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I finally picked up my office mail today, and inside the bursting folder I found quite a few holiday magazines. I've already written up Real Simple's integration of holiday coupons (which i also saw in InStyle recently), but today the gifting is getting a little more serious.

Publications from ScienceNews to People are offering special "gift" subscription offers at discounted prices. Let's compare.

ScienceNews takes a bold, if slightly bleak, approach, with a white, graphic-less cardboard cover stapled over its Nov. 22 issue. The entire front is taken up with a lengthy offer, typed in black and red. A detachable card on the front lets someone request 26 gift issues for $49.95 - 51% off the cover price. With another 3 cards on the back, readers have one more chance to give another 26 issues for $49.95 or two chances to give 26 issues to 2 different recipients, for 61% off the cover price. The copy also gives the option (on the front and back covers) to call or fax in orders or make them online.

People opts for a graphics-heavy insert in the middle of its "sexiest men" spread. The red and green piece has some cover images and gift bows. The top two tear-out cards ask for straight-up subscriptions -- is someone feeling a little grinchy? -- but the bottom one offers a "give and save" option. All three offer 47% percent savings on a year's worth of issues. The two subscription pieces also offer 45% off of a half year, and all three give an 800 number "for faster service."

Which would you give?

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