In a story that, in another era, would perhaps have been a piece in The Onion instead of one in real life, Procter & Gamble is starting its own health and beauty mag called Rouge. Along with offering coupons, the magazine will be about 60 percent P&G "branded editorial coverage," meaning stories that advise you while also endorsing brands such as Cover Girl and Olay.
The surprising twist on this news is that when P&G was researching the viability of the idea, their studies showed that "80 percent of readers found Rouge to be comparable to fashion titles such as Marie Claire and Allure in 'quality and design.'" That's great news for Rouge, but yikes, what does that say about people's opinions of regular magazines these days? Some of you think advertisers influence editorial coverage anyway, but Rouge doesn't try to be objective. Will you check this advertorial mag out, or take a pass?