If you have a choice between publishing a full-page ad with or without bleeds, you choose with bleeds. It usually doesn’t cost anything extra. It isn’t difficult or time-consuming either to add. And it doesn’t take anything away from the ad’s concept either.
You’re basically saying to the viewer, “I’m lost and I don’t know what I’m doing.” If you are going to spend all the money for a full-page ad, plus the cost of 4 colour process, plus the cost of 1 spot colour (probably), then at least finish the race strong with a bleed.
It’s like when I go down to my local deli and order a sandwich and they ask me if I want it with or without cheese. You’re damn right I want it with cheese. (‘La Charcuterie’ at Kingsway and Boundary for those of you in Vancouver. Best capicolli in town). But I digress.
So here’s the rule of thumb for everybody out there: when you buy a full-page ad in a magazine, get it with bleed; and when you buy a sandwich at a deli, get it with cheese.
That is all.