DOUBLE CLICK: Julianne Moore may be Stefano Pilati’s date for Monday night’s Costume Institute ball, but another woman in his Yves Saint Laurent entourage is also sure to turn heads: Gisele Bündchen. The Brazilian supermodel is expected to wear YSL to the event, signaling her new affiliation with the French house as the focus of its forthcoming fall-winter advertising campaign. Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin captured Bündchen cavorting in the streets of Paris at night. According to Pilati, that’s a moment ripe with possibility, when a woman can pursue a “double life” — should she be so inclined. Bündchen certainly played the role to the hilt for the Dutch photo duo.
Pilati continues to shake up YSL’s advertising with new photographers and faces — including for his men’s campaign. For fall-winter, he tapped Marc Newson to pose at the industrial designer’s home and in his atelier. It’s the second season Pilati has used a personality rather than a model for the men’s campaign: Vincent Gallo is featured in the current spring series. Previous YSL campaigns have used photos by Juergen Teller, Jeff Burton and the duo of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. — Miles Socha
TAKING SHOTS: Us Weekly, consumer advocate? That’s the spin Wenner Media is putting on the title’s decision to run a story this week calling out its competitors for misleading consumers. In the piece, “All the News That’s Fake,” Us Weekly points to recent issues of OK!, Life & Style, In Touch and Star and “corrects” headlines and accompanying stories in each magazine about celebrity breast augmentations, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony breaking up, Brad Pitt wanting Jennifer Aniston back, and Katie Holmes talking about divorcing Tom Cruise. “The level of fabrication has reached a fever pitch that we needed to do something about it,” said a spokesman for Wenner Media. “These headlines are completely egregious and misleading.”
This story first appeared in the May 4, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
So why not address its own mistakes while calling attention to the competition? “We do run corrections in the front of the magazine, and it happens in the regular course of news gathering,” said the Wenner spokesman. But, he added, “We don’t make up a headline.”
OK!, Life & Style, In Touch and Star stood by their stories when WWD called for comment, and a spokesman for Star further challenged the article. “I find it amusing that Us Weekly and [editor in chief] Janice Min thinks they are above all else in the celebrity category of weekly gossip magazines. How can she point fingers when [The New York Post’s] Page Six had to run a retraction from picking up her stories in the last year?”
A Wenner spokesman responded to the Star spokesman: “We don’t say that we don’t make mistakes; that is the nature of any news gathering operation. What we don’t do is wholesale fabricate stories to sell magazines.” — Stephanie D. Smith
LITTLE CUTIE: One of the May cover stars of Vanity Fair has a book deal, and it’s not Leonardo DiCaprio. The Berlin Zoo has signed away international publishing rights to Knut, the baby polar bear who was digitally united with DiCaprio for the magazine’s green issue, to Turtle Pond Publications. A spokeswoman declined to discuss the terms of the deal, but the chief executive officer of the Berlin Zoo said some of the proceeds would go to educational initiatives for the environment. Scholastic will publish the first Knut book, to be written by best-selling children’s author Craig Hatkoff, this fall, and a Web site will follow next year. — Irin Carmon
IS IT A GOOD THING? In an unlikely pairing, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is working with Costco to sell frozen and refrigerated food in Costco locations across the country. And while it’s unlikely that Stewart will put her own spin on the Hungry Man dinner, the food line will start appearing in stores later this year or in early 2008. Chief executive officer Susan Lyne mentioned the launch Thursday while also providing remarks on the company’s first-quarter results. On that note, revenues rose 12 percent to approximately $40 million in the publishing division, thanks to higher ad pages and rates. Ad pages jumped 7 percent at Martha Stewart Living and 14 percent at Everyday Food, while total ad sales grew 20 percent to $21.4 million during the quarter. Lyne added the company expects a net investment of $8 million this year for Blueprint and an additional $1 million to purchase photo rights and test additional magazine concepts, which were not disclosed. Looking ahead, Lyne forecast $45 million to $46 million in publishing division revenues during the second quarter and 14 percent ad page growth at Living and 18 percent growth at Everyday Food.
And although it’s too soon to measure it, the company’s new line of paper-based craft and storage products is off to a fast start, even though the products have yet to hit the shelves. While formal marketing for the products begins on Sunday, Lyne reported that during its first week in stores, retailer Michaels has already sold more than $1 million — and this is while boxes are still being unpacked. — Amy Wicks
FLIPPING OUT: Flip.com has a long way to go before it catches up to MySpace, but the teen networking site Condé Nast launched in February is getting a following. The site gathered 288,000 unique visitors in March, according to comScore/MediaMetrix, up from 183,000 in its first month. That’s more than cosmogirl.com’s 281,000 unique visitors and teenvogue.com’s 101,000, but less than seventeen.com’s 745,000. MySpace.com saw 66 million unique visitors in March.
The average age of Flip.com users is 17 and almost all of them are female. But they’re not all fashionistas from Manhattan. “Some of our deepest users are out in the heartland,” said Flip.com publisher Jane Grenier. “There’s a hunger for creative outlets in the heartland that this site hits spot on.”
Flip.com is independent from any of the Condé Nast magazine titles, but there appears to be little internecine rivalry between the site and Teen Vogue. In addition to Teen Vogue selling subscriptions on Flip.com, the two have been able to create some editorial and advertising links (though Grenier stressed advertising on Flip.com was not sold as a bundle with Teen Vogue). For example, Pacific Sunwear is wrapping up a contest where girls won a chance to shadow a photographer, stylist or producer while the retailer shot its back-to-school ad campaign. As the winners take their apprenticeships, each will document their experiences with digital and video cameras to create flipbooks for Flip.com. In August, Teen Vogue will run a special advertising section for Pac Sun featuring behind-the-scenes images from the ad campaign. Podcasts from the winner’s experience will also go live in August on Flip.com, teenvogue.com and pacsun.com.
Though Flip.com limited its advertising to just five partners at its launch, more are signing up. Nike, which was an advertiser during the launch, will increase its presence on the site through the summer. Gillette last week started advertising on the site, and Ugg will run in August. Grenier also wants to expand the advertiser base beyond fashion and beauty to automotive and electronics. “The kind of integrated conversation that can happen on Flip.com can happen in any [advertising] category. Getting her opinion set on a particular brand or product is as important to a cell phone carrier [or] to an automaker as it to a fashion brand,” said Grenier.
Aside from advertising, Grenier said CondéNet is looking at ways to improve the site, including ways to access photo management sites, such as Flicker.com or Photobucket, so users can quickly upload their photos to Flip.com. CondéNet is also developing tools that allow flipbooks to be placed on girls’ MySpace pages. Such ongoing tweaks are a reason why the word “beta” is still located under the Flip logo. Which isn’t unusual — Google’s GMail still includes “beta” under its logo after launching three years ago. — S.D.S.