Harper’s Bazaar recently embedded 5,000 copies of its December issue cover with “Swarovski crystal elements”—258 of them, to be exact, hand-affixed by Swarovski—and sent them to VIPs in the fashion, beauty and media industries, including, naturally, me.

A week ago, 10,000 copies of New York’s December 10 issue were printed with a four-page cover wrap advertising the New Museum—using part of the magazine’s logo in its design. The special copies were mailed to a select list of the city’s "culturati," Andrew Essex, CEO of Droga5, the ad agency behind the promotion, told Jeff Bercovici at Portfolio. "So if you don’t get a copy, you’re not somebody."

The blinging, er, blurring of ASME’s church-state guidelines aside, why do magazines print special “VIP” issues, anyway? And why do the VIPs get all the cool ones?

There’s a reason, of course: advertisers. In this case, I’m guessing that both the New Museum and Swarvoski wanted to reach these so-called VIPs, and do so in a way that was eye-catching. But what about the subscribers of the magazine? Are they not Very Important People too?

The answer, apparently, is simple: No.