RICHEMONT’S REVENGE: Advertisers can be a tricky bunch, and Compagnie Financière Richemont’s outspoken South African chief executive Johann Rupert is no exception. A Richemont spokeswoman has confirmed an item in London’s Daily Mail that Rupert has pulled the group’s ads from Wallpaper magazine because of an insult to his native Afrikaans language in the September issue. Said insult appears not in an article, but in a picture caption in an otherwise upbeat travel spread on Cape Town. The picture shows architect Jan van Wijk’s soaring, soft-edged monument to Afrikaans, which the caption refers to as a “remarkable 1975 tribute to one of the world’s ugliest languages.”
Rupert told the Mail, “I don’t see why I should sit here and see my language and culture belittled. If a magazine decides to disparage any culture, not just mine, then you have to take action. I will probably be seen as an idiot in England — but I will be a hero in South Africa.” The Richemont spokesman declined to say if and when ads from the group, which owns companies including Cartier, Dunhill, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Chloé, would be reinstated, or how much the company spends annually in Wallpaper. A Wallpaper spokesman declined to comment.
— Samantha Conti
SHAPING UP: Valerie Latona, the new editor in chief of Shape magazine, is putting her senior editorial team in place. Latona, who was promoted from beauty editor after the ouster of former editor in chief Anne Russell, has hired three deputy editors: Janet Lee, previously fitness director at Self, is coming onboard as deputy editor in charge of fitness; Tricia Calvo, previously articles editor at Fitness, will oversee health and nutrition, and Mary Rose Almasi, who has been working on a variety of special projects at Hearst, will head up the beauty and fashion departments. A major part of their jobs will be to liaise with Shape staffers in the magazine’s Woodland Hills, Calif., office, said Latona. Shape also has hired Sarah Robbins, a reporter at Glamour, as staff writer.
— Jeff Bercovici
This story first appeared in the December 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TRUMP’S JACKPOT: Reading celebrity magazines doesn’t make you smart, but it just might make you rich. In Touch will be holding a $1 million giveaway this Wednesday night, with Donald Trump selecting the winner from three candidates. The finalists qualified by filling out questionnaires on the “Biggest Moments of the Year” in the magazine’s Oct. 21 issue. A spokesman for the magazine said Trump will announce plans for the first Los Angeles-based edition of “The Apprentice” at the event, which marks In Touch’s third anniversary.