A BAZAAR COVER CHOICE: The upcoming September cover of Glenda Bailey’s Harper’s Bazaar features Madonna below the famed Alexey Brodovitch logo, clad in a sleeveless T-shirt, diamond bracelets and jeans. If it sounds similar to her mass market fashion turn in the Gap ads that debut July 28 (before HB even hits the stands), that’s because it is. The photograph on the Bazaar cover was taken on Gap’s set by Regan Cameron, on the same day the Gap ads were shot — by Regan Cameron. On the Bazaar cover, Madonna wears the exact same outfit, styled precisely as in the campaign, while the accompanying cover line reads, “Madonna’s New Look.”
Fashion magazines regularly go out of their way to give major advertisers editorial credits on their covers and it is not unheard of for a magazine to photograph a celebrity spokesperson for a cover wearing the clothes of the brand they represent, as Vogue did with Penelope Cruz in March 2001 when she was the face of Ralph Lauren. But in the U.S., using what appears to be an outtake from a campaign is remarkably rare.
A spokeswoman for Gap contends the HB cover is not advertorial and has nothing to do with the campaign. “It was shot on our set and it was really more of a timing issue and our clothes are part of this look that Harper’s was interested in.
“Harper’s contacted us when they heard that she was going to be in our campaign and they thought it would be great to do something with her new look. So we simply put Harper’s in touch with Madonna’s people. The way it worked out, both were shot by Regan Cameron — but separately — and the image that will appear on the cover of their magazine is not from our campaign.”
Asked whether Gap would be advertising in Bazaar this fall and what the company’s budget was, the spokeswoman said, “We will be advertising in Harper’s this fall. Same as always, no more, no less.” She declined to specify pages or dollars.
A spokeswoman for Harper’s Bazaar, who noted the image was taken exclusively for Bazaar, said in an e-mail, “Anytime Madonna emerges with a new look, it is considered news.”
But the industry is not so easily convinced.
Ron Pompeii, founder and creative director of Pompeii AD, a marketing agency that has worked with companies including Levi’s and Urban Outfitters, said, “It’s so blatant, it’s disturbing. It’s basically an ad for the Gap on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. It’s not very ethical in terms of a publication of Harper’s Bazaar’s high esteem to play that kind of role in a culture that looks at it as bringing an editorial point of view. That cover should be a unique example of an individual choice.”
“People have picked up shots from ad campaigns before,” said Sam Shahid, the art director behind campaigns for Abercrombie and Fitch as well as Calvin Klein and Banana Republic. “But it does reinforce the Gap as a brand and makes them look greater.”
Asked whether he thought it lacked integrity on Bazaar’s part, he said, “It does. They should have their own work. This is done in Europe but it has never been done here on the cover of a major publication in the States.”
Is it advertorial?
“Absolutely,” said Shahid. “I wonder if they’re running 20 pages in there [as a make-good]. Jesus Christ. I’m surprised they didn’t take Missy Elliott [who is featured in the campaign with Madonna, but not in Bazaar] and do that on the back cover. Then the Gap would own the entire magazine.”
The spokesperson for Bazaar also said, “We are thrilled that she’s appearing on the cover of our September issue, in which we celebrate her 20 years as a fashion icon. The image was shot specifically for Harper’s Bazaar and won’t be appearing anywhere else. We have a longstanding relationship with Madonna, who appears on our cover for the fifth time.”
— Jacob Bernstein
MIN MOVES UP: Janice Min is expected to be named editor of Us Weekly today. According to insiders who have seen a first bound of next week’s issue — which hits stands Wednesday — there is an editor’s letter and a photo of Min. Her move to the top of the masthead confirms a report in WWD on June 27. Min had worked at Us Weekly for 17 months under Bonnie Fuller as the magazine’s number two. Before that, she was at In Style in a senior position, working on special issues. Min is known among her staff as a calm and decisive presence. The move is also a clear indication that the magazine’s management is confident in its editorial direction and does not plan to make major changes in the aftermath of Fuller’s exit. Fuller, as reported, is at American Media on a mission to reinvent its tabloids and other publications. — J.B.
GENTLEMEN QUARRELING: GQ’s morning meetings have become can’t-miss events. Just two workdays after Ron Galotti tearfully told his staff he was leaving, new publisher Peter Hunsinger informed the sales force that associate publisher Lee Rosenbaum was also headed out the door.
Rosenbaum, who had arrived with Galotti last spring from the wreckage of Talk, had met with Hunsinger earlier that morning and informed him he was resigning, Hunsinger told the group, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting. “He tells the staff Rosenbaum’s a great guy, but that he’s moving on,” one source said. But when Hunsinger left the room after the meeting, the source said, Rosenbaum informed them, “I was fired.” Hunsinger had summoned him to his office immediately before the 9:30 staff meeting, he explained, and — with an HR representative present — informed him he was being let go. He had had every intention of staying, he told them.
Reached at home, Rosenbaum declined comment on his last day of work. But now that he has time on his hands, he may be hooking up again in some capacity with another Talk alumni, Maer Roshan. “I’d always be interested in working with Maer again,” said Rosenbaum, but declined comment on whether he actually would. Roshan also declined comment. — Greg Lindsay
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: After all, Maer Roshan’s magazine appears to have lived to publish another day. Or at least a third issue. The word has gone out from Radar’s near-empty offices that the staff, which has been on an unpaid hiatus to conserve cash, should return next week to start production on an issue slated for late September. Where the money will come from is still up in the air, however. One source said Roshan is confident of securing enough short-term cash to guarantee publication; another contradicted this, saying he’s nearing a long-term deal that could fund it until its projected break-even point — the Holy Grail. Roshan confirmed work on the next issue was starting, but declined to discuss financial matters.
Not everyone will be back, however. Photo director Bradley Young has landed a photo editor-at-large gig at GQ that may or may not leave him enough time for Radar, and entertainment editor Dina Wise left to become vice president of special events at Miramax. — G.L.