Read this with a chuckle this afternoon. I find the whole hypothesis quite interesting. Not sure why folks think that if I'm highly engaged with a publication's content that I'll be more engaged with the ads. In fact, I'd think logic would suggest the opposite. The more engaged I am, the more likely I'll pass over the ads versus a magazine where I'm more just skimming... as I'm basically allowing my eyes to wonder I'm more likely to see the ads and if they catch my attention, recall them.
Either way, it would be so interesting to see Starch do a second study with an A/B split test. Half the pubs would have ads that contextually play off the edit and half would be what we traditionally see - generic ads. That would finally help us understand if engaged readers really can become more engaged with the ads.