P&G to Launch Custom Beauty Magazine Rouge in U.S.

Package Goods Giant Plans to Build Database by Relying on Mommy Bloggers to Spread the Word

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BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. is enlisting help from mommy bloggers as it makes over its Canadian custom-published quarterly Rouge for a full-scale U.S. launch expected to reach 11 million households in both countries by next year.

The revamped Rouge is expected to reach 6 million to 7 million homes.
The revamped Rouge is expected to reach 6 million to 7 million homes.
Custom magazines from package-goods marketers have been around for a while, such as Kraft Foods' Food & Family, launched earlier this decade with a free circulation of 12 million, according to Redwood Custom Communications, which produces the program. But a new wrinkle in the U.S. rollout of beauty magazine Rouge, which began earlier this month, is the use of the mommy blogger community to help build the database of the relationship-marketing program.

The appeal driving mentions of Rouge among bloggers is pretty simple: It's available at the internet's favorite price (free) and comes loaded with coupons, which happen to drive much of the routine chatter regarding package-goods brands in social media.

"Rouge is launching in the U.S. because we saw it as a strong, highly effective tool in Canada that helps us at P&G Beauty to develop an informative, valuable, long-term relationship with our beauty-involved consumers," a P&G spokesman said in an e-mail.

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P&G first launched Rouge in Canada in 2005, then tested the magazine with 2 million U.S. households last September. The full rollout with the fall 2009 edition will reach 6 million to 7 million homes. In all, the spokesman said 11 million North American consumers will have received the magazine by next year.

CRM leap
Those numbers will push Rouge near the level of P&G's biggest online relationship-marketing program to date, the Home Made Simple program, which later branched into a program on the TLC Network and shopper-marketing programs. The shift to a quarterly print magazine on a similar scale, however, ratchets up P&G's investment in customer relationship-marketing programs considerably.

Toronto-based Javelin, a unit of Redwood, is handling the print and online editions of Rouge for P&G. Javelin is also handling a U.S.-focused revamp of the program's website, Rougemag.com, to roll out later this fall.

P&G isn't just relying on social media to build the Rouge database. It's also sending Rouge to consumers identified as "beauty involved" when they signed up on a P&G Beauty brand web site such as Olay.com or Pantene.com, or by "being active in beauty through various beauty magazine subscriptions as well as buying beauty products," the spokesman said. P&G's North America Market Development Organization, which handles multi-brand regional marketing efforts, is overseeing Rouge.

A change P&G made to its online privacy policy last year, allowing P&G brands to share information among their various web sites, is helping pave the way to build Rouge. The spokesman said consumers can opt in or out of the program at any time.

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