It's official. According to an article in The New York Times, Proctor and Gamble has a deal with Running Press that will result in Cover Girl products being...used?...named?...in a YA novel called Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233 by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart. In return for the plugs, Proctor and Gamble will promote the book at its website, Beinggirl.com.
One of the interesting points The New York Times article makes is: "Many popular young adult novels, of course, already spread references to brands throughout their pages in series like "The Gossip Girl" and "The A-List," although there are no actual product placement deals."
I'll have to take the author's word for it. But, really, in The Gossip Girl and A-List books I read there were so many products named. What was going on there, if there were no deals? I have always been under the impression that using product names instead of description is poor writing because readers unfamiliar with the products will get no description at all. So, again, what's going on here?