Did DP copy BRO?
"They're identical," says radio talk show host Coy Barefoot, while staring at the four potential covers the Progress was showing readers in its pick-the-cover contest for its second annual edition of Our Great Outdoors.
"I haven't seen the inside of it, but I'm worried someone might confuse them," says Blue Ridge Outdoors publisher Blake DeMaso. "We work really hard on our covers, so to have something come out that similar is really frustrating."
publisher [oops– our mistake] managing editor McGregor McCance pleads innocent to charges of copying the nearly 12-year-old gonzo monthly. "They're a great publication, and we're certainly not trying to copy them," he says. "Any similarities are coincidental."
However, the white-outlined typography, the similar names, and the rowdy cover imagery briefly confused even one branding expert. Pam Fitzgerald, who runs the ad agency The Ivy Group, says she believes that appearances will be secondary to the what's inside.
"The real proof is in the pudding," she says.
McCance is such an avid outdoorsman that the Media General-owned Progress offers a photo of him at the summit of The Priest on the Appalachian Trail on dailyprogress.com. In a letter to readers, McCance calls Our Great Outdoors, which will appear again on March 4, "an introduction and a collection of hilights [sic], a starting point or a sampler."
Fitzgerald seems to doubt that the public will stay confused for long. "Will the DP put the firepower into the editorial content to attract readers?" asks Fitzgerald. "If past history is any indication..."