Cover Story: If You Don't Buy This Maskgazine, COVID May Not Kill You


In an age when many advertising pros, as well as consumers, seem to take magazine print editions for granted, WPP’s Grey Mexico and Time Out magazine teamed up to use them to save people’s lives.

After conducting research that found the magazine’s porous paper stock was sufficient for blocking transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the agency and the publisher teamed up to print 100,000 copies of Time Out Mexico featuring a special perforated, two-page spread that could be punched out and folded into a face mask, and it gave them away for free.

Street teams distributing the special, life-saving April editions -- dubbed "maskgazines" -- focused on people who were walking around without masks.

"As surreal as it may seem after more than a year of pandemic disease, the number of infections continues to grow in Mexico and we continue to see an enormous number of people leave unprotected every day," explains Luis Gaitán, President-Chief Creative Officer of Grey Mexico. "The idea aims to be consistent with the purpose of Time Out by providing inspiration to tour the city by adding the invitation to do so more safely by turning the pages of the magazine into a cover."

In the annals of interactive print editions features, Time Out Mexico's maskgazine ranks up there with Playboy's centerfolds and MAD's "fold-ins," but as far we know, none of those actually saved people's lives.

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