Did DP copy BRO?

runner What if a scenic view is a d©j  vu? Some readers gazing at prospective covers for a Daily Progress supplement think the Progress is copying the venerable Blue Ridge Outdoors.

"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."

Daily Progress 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..."
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7 comments

It seems like the Daily Progress is always trying to be everything to everybody and to do that they seem to copy a lot of smaller publishers that have seen be successful. This is an obvious example. I have been reading Blue Ridge Outdoors for a long time and they do a great job so I can see why Blake DeMaso is frustrated with this obvious copy. They could have at least changed the font a little.

The words "outdoors" look similar, indeed.
What's with the bitchy slap at McGregor McCance, though? He's a heck of a nice guy, and indeed, is an "avid outdoorsman."

I'm pretty sure the DP had the exact same magazine insert last year (in fact, I'm positive, because I held on to the copy and it's sitting here in front of me). So way to be a year late on this "scoop." And I'm also pretty sure that you have to buy the paper in order to get the Outdoors issue anyway, so it's not as though people will be having to choose between "Blue Ridge" and "Our Great" at any point anyway. So... ummmmm... what's the news here? How stupid do you think people are?

By the way, haven't met McCance, but I've also heard he's a nice guy. HAVE met Pam Fitzgerald, and this is as good an opportunity as any to say I'm not a big fan.

One last note: why in the world did the voters pick the running guy? I thought the kid fishing was definitely the best cover. lol

My kid tells me "lol" is out of style. So I take that part back.

How perspicacious to catch the DP copying BRO with "rowdy cover imagery." I think I caught ESPN mag copying Sports Illustrated use of athletic imagery on its cover.
And I like how you caught publisher (sic) McCance's "hilights." You totally nailed him.

Nice use of the word perspicacious and good point. The only problem is you are talking about publications that have world-wide audiences of millions of people compared to a local publication that serves a county of about 80,000 people.

I am sure that McCance is a nice guy and not trying to rip off BRO. I am sure he is doing it because he loves the outdoors and wants to write about something that he is passionate about. But I am also sure they only reason that a company like Media General would be willing to move ahead and fund such a project is because they see that BRO is successful and they want a piece of the action. The fact that they want to compete with BRO is fine. We live in a free country that thrives on competitive business. The only problem with this is it looks like a shameless knock off of the original.

I have to admit that I have had some dealings in the past with Media General (not the Progress) so I may be a little jaded but my feeling is this is about money and not informing readers.

This is the silliest (to use a less offensive summation) blog I've ever seen. Ok, so let's see. They use the word "Outdoors" and there is a picture of a guy outdoors. Yeah, it's the exact same thing. Call in the plagerism police, whhheeeeeeee. Great JOB HOOK, way to break the story. This is pseudo-C-VILLE investigating if I've ever seen it. It's an annual insert for subscription holders. THIS IS LAME!!!!!!!!!