A P&G spokeswoman declined to comment on the item, other than to note "that's gossip." She said Cover Girl already has celebrity endorsers it's very pleased with, including Queen Latifah, Drew Barrymore and Rihanna.
Another person familiar with the brand also declined to confirm or deny any decision regarding Ms. DeGeneres, noting that it already has a rather steep talent budget into which the addition of a fourth high-profile endorser could be difficult.
But Cover Girl's budget could be a bit more flush than it has been in years past. The brand has posted strong share results the past year, particularly in eye makeup behind its Lash Blast lineup, after years of scuffling, according to Deutsche Bank analyst William Schmitz.
Ms. DeGeneres edged talk rival Oprah Winfrey as the most popular celebrity in the U.S. in a Harris Interactive poll where Ms. Winfrey's numbers were likely hurt by her endorsement of Barack Obama for president.
It's less clear whether Ms. DeGeneres has lost any votes in middle America following her high-profile wedding to Portia de Rossi in California -- in the process taking a high-profile stand against a ballot initiative to overturn a court ruling allowing gay marriage in the state.
But she's clearly been a winner for P&G up to now. A rollout of a new Head & Shoulders conditioner lineup that began with an appearance on "Ellen" late last year has been perhaps the strongest P&G beauty launch of the past year. Marina Maher Communications, which also handles Cover Girl, helped broker that deal. WPP Group's Grey Global Group handles advertising for Cover Girl.