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"You wussed out": Sonia Kruger is unimpressed by Elle's new cover.

The image we all loved is not actually the cover image – and Sonia Kruger is having none of it.

Mornings host Sonia Kruger did not hold back while interviewing Elle Australia‘s editor-in-chief Justine Cullen this Friday, telling her she “wussed out” by not featuring breastfeeding model on the general public’s issue of the magazine.

Sonia Kruger takes on Elle Editor, Justine Cullen, yesterday on Today.

The breastfeeding cover was widely celebrated  – but yesterday it was revealed that the ground-breaking cover only appeared on subscriber editions – not on news-stands.

And Sonia Kruger was having none of it. “You wussed out, Justine. You completely wussed out”, said an exasperated Kruger.

Kruger then asked Cullen,  “To put it on the subscriber’s issue and not on the issue on stands, aren’t you sending the wrong message to people that this is not for general consumption?”

Cullen claimed the shot of Trunfio and her four-month-old son Zion was a “beautiful bonus,” a reward for loyal subscribers.

Karl Stefanovic agreed with Kruger that Elle should have gone with the breastfeeding cover. ‘I would have loved to have seen it as the main cover,’ he said. ‘She looks magnificent and its a positive message about breastfeeding.’

You can watch the full interview here:

Mamamia previously wrote…

Yesterday, we were celebrating this beautiful cover shot on Elle Australia.

Nicole Trunfio posted this preview on Instagram yesterday.

But then we discovered that photo of Perth model Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her four-month-old son Zion was not actually the cover.

It was just the issue that was sent to Elle subscribers.

This is the actual cover that appears on newsstands.

And after we found out, we weren’t sure how to feel.

The new magazine cover that’s probably going to break the internet.

Disappointed that the magazine only used the cover for readers who’d effectively already bought the issue, not willing to back the ballsy move by having its success reflected in newsstand sales?

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Happy that this perfectly normal part of motherhood was reflected and celebrated in such an open way?

Elle editor-in-chief Justine Cullen says the striking picture was not planned.

“This wasn’t a contrived situation: Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set,” she says.

“It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture.”

Speaking of newsworthy mag covers: The magazine cover printed in real, human blood.

(Apparently there was another natural moment on set when Zion relieved himself on some of the designer clothing called in for the shoot… ah, babies.)

The subscriber-only cover prompted some strong reactions from readers on social media.

There were also divided opinions in the Mamamia office, so we turned to our in-house experts on all things mags.

Mia Freedman, former magazine editor and publisher of Mamamia, says she would have loved to see the beautiful breastfeeding image on newsstands, despite the commercial pressures that likely guided the decision.

“I love that Justine Cullen – the Elle editor – put a breastfeeding image on the cover, even if it wasn’t the ‘real’ cover.

The image an editor chooses for the cover is the most important decision she makes all month. She has one shot to grab attention and interest and, ultimately, it’s a commercial decision. It has to appeal to the largest possible number of potential buyers of the mag.

There’s a long tradition of editors using their subscriber issues (which are essentially pre-sold and don’t appear in public, but are sent straight to the subscribers’ home) to push the envelope creatively and try things that might not fly on the newsstand.

I actually would have loved to see the breastfeeding image on the main cover and I think that could have garnered the magazine a lot of attention and acclaim. But these are really tough times for magazines and they are hugely reliant on supermarket sales, where the environment is more conservative. If someone complained about the breastfeeding image and the issue was pulled from sale, it would be catastrophic for the magazine’s sales.

So, I totally understand why Justine made the decision she did.

I think whenever a magazine editor pushes the envelope forward it’s a good day.”

Yes, even celebrities breastfeed – see the proof here (post continues after gallery):

But Kate Spies – former deputy editor of SHOP Til You Drop (and now Mamamia Women’s Network deputy editor in chief) – says the move is far from a cop-out.

“I think the latest Elle cover is stunning – it’s an image like no other we have seen on a mainstream Australian mag cover before.

The fact that it’s only going to subscribers isn’t a cop out, it’s a way of the brand acknowledging its most loyal customers.

Subscribers are golden for mags, so these brands need to make sure they are giving them real value and a reason to continue their subscriptions – stunt covers and special executions are one way of doing this.”

Want to catch up on Nicole’s modelling career in just a few minutes? Watch this.

Which edition would you have preferred on the newsstands?

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