SMOKE ALARM: Magazine editors are preparing their responses to a letter sent by 41 members of Congress calling on them to stop accepting “misleading advertising” from tobacco companies. But they don’t have endless time.
The Congress members, led by Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.), wrote to major magazine editors earlier this week asking them to stop accepting such advertising, pointing particularly to the Camel No. 9 ads from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., “which are clearly targeted at enticing young women to smoke.” Women’s titles including Elle, Vogue, Glamour, In Style, Lucky, Marie Claire, W and Cosmopolitan received the letter, which contained a plea to stop running the hot pink Camel ad that calls its cigarettes “light & luscious.” Emily Kryder, press secretary for Capps, said they are targeting women’s magazines in part because the colorful ad, which she described as a possible take on Chanel No. 5, is clearly a ploy at reaching out to a much younger customer.
“Pulling the ad is the right thing to do,” she said.
But Kryder noted that if “after a reasonable amount of time,” Congress does not hear from these publications and action is not taken, it might press for legislative action or a hearing.
Spokeswomen at Glamour, W and Lucky said their respective editors plan to respond to Congress, although no details were provided. At In Style, a spokeswoman said the letter is being reviewed and added its July issue will carry no tobacco ads. Over at Hearst, a spokeswoman said it has received the letters, but its policy will remain the same regarding cigarette ads. “The decision is left up to the discretion of our individual publishers,” she explained. Representatives of Elle and Vogue declined to comment.
A spokesman at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. said the ads are only running in magazines with 85 percent or more of their readers over the age of 18. This is 10 percent more than Federal Trade Commission requirements. He added the marketing is not a play off of Chanel No. 5 and was created in response to female smokers who asked for this type of cigarette to be produced from Camel. Moreover, he said the “light & luscious” tagline refers to the “blend and taste of the product.” The spokesman wasn’t sure whether the company is planning a counter response to Congress. — Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the June 15, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
THE CHOSEN FEW: Harper’s Bazaar’s current cover girls, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, may be mainstays in the celebrity weeklies, but they apparently have no pull over at Forbes. Both are absent from the business title’s July 2 issue, which celebrates the Celebrity 100, a power ranking that gives the most weight to a celebrity’s earnings over the past 12 months, and factors in Internet presence, press clippings, magazine cover stories and mentions on television and radio. Predictably, Oprah Winfrey came in at number one, while Madonna, who created a clothing line at H&M, landed at number three. Jay-Z also cracked the top 10, with the sale of his Rocawear clothing line for $204 million. More celebrities in the clothing business on this year’s list include Donald Trump (suits, ties and belts) at number 19, 50 Cent at number 32, Justin Timberlake, who is also launching his own music label came in at 34, Sean “Diddy” Combs at 43, Jessica Simpson, who hawks her own line of shoes and swimwear, landed at 60, and budding mogul Hilary Duff and her Stuff by Hilary Duff clothing line came in at 72. Models moonlighting as clothing designers also made the list. Gisele Bündchen, who has a line of sandals, is 53rd on the power ranking, Kate Moss, model and Topshop clothing designer, earned the 74th spot, and “Project Runway” moderator Heidi Klum, who also has a line of jewelry, came in at 84. Meanwhile, budding media mogul Rachael Ray came in at number 66. — A.W.
WINNING WAYS: Perhaps the most succinct way to report on a lunch that awarded journalists for reporting on journalism is by simply pointing to the name of said accolades: the Mirror Awards, given by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. If business reporting in general, and media reporting in particular, is ultimately a study of power, the luncheon’s attendees seemed particularly aware of its machinations Thursday. Host Meredith Vieira joked she was currying favor with the dean of the Newhouse School to help her son’s chances of getting in. Rem Rieder, editor of the American Journalism Review, accepted his publication’s award for overall excellence by expressing surprise — “because we were seated in Secaucus [N.J.].”
When New York Times columnist David Carr won for Best Commentary over the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz and New York’s Kurt Andersen, Carr didn’t overlook the fact that Andersen had been his boss at Inside.com: “Six years ago, I arrived by turnip truck to New York and you plucked me off of it,” he said, by way of thanks. (Andersen had already returned the favor in the same column space that had earned him his own Mirror nomination, calling Carr a “quirky, entertaining, singular writer” in February). Carr also thanked Times business editor Lawrence Ingrassia (who had brought along his recent hire, 21-year-old ex-TVNewser.com blogger Brian Stelter) for “pushing my hire through before the masthead [editors] knew what he was doing.”
Outside of that category, New York magazine didn’t break its recent awards-winning streak, taking the awards for Best Single Article with Clive Thompson’s “Blogs to Riches,” and for Best Profile with Philip Weiss‘ “A Guy Named Craig.” (Thompson was nominated twice in the same category, including for a New York Times Magazine story on Google and China). A tribute video for Variety editor in chief Peter Bart‘s lifetime achievement award featured Hollywood power players such as Harvey Weinstein, Sherri Lansing and Danny DeVito lavishly praising him, with the occasional carefully placed gripe. (Brian Grazer: “I remember reading a review [of his film in Variety] that was so bad that I got a cold sore while reading it.”) Andreas Kluth of the Economist won for Best Subject-Related Series, HealthNewsReview.org beat out Mediabistro.com for Excellence in Media Information Services, and Dean Miller took home the award for Best Coverage of Breaking Industry News for a piece in Nieman Reports. — Irin Carmon
WORD TO THE WISE: Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black is dishing out the wisdom in supersize portions, given her upcoming book, “Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life),” and the convocation speech she will give this Saturday to graduates of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Black, who is from Chicago but attended Trinity College in Connecticut, has already gotten a few tips from Medill faculty on crafting her remarks. For one, keep them brief, but perhaps not as short as media mogul Ted Turner‘s commencement speech at Ithaca College when Black received an honorary degree there. “He came up to the podium and took out [a piece of paper that was] nothing bigger than a matchbox, and he said: ‘Here’s my message: take time to smell the roses, love what you do and love your life.’ It couldn’t have been more than 90 seconds,” she recalled.
In addition to being a champion of print journalism, Black will dole out the expected career advice to the new grads, such as going after more than one job if it means paying the rent, as she did when she took her first job at Holiday magazine. “My father said to me, you cannot sign a lease in New York until you have a job that can pay for your financial contribution [to the apartment]. My roommate was interviewing at a large publishing company, now defunct. She became the assistant to the cartoon editor at The Saturday Evening Post. I asked if there were any jobs open.” The company offered up a sales assistant position at Holiday. “It paid $30 more a week than Condé Nast. And that’s why I took the job because I couldn’t afford my apartment on a Condé Nast salary.” Black, incidentally, did not mention whether or not a sales assistant could afford an apartment today on Hearst’s entry-level salary.
For non-Medill graduates, Black’s book, which hits shelves in late October, will give practical advice on “having a 360-degree life — a blend of professional accomplishment and personal contentment,” according to the pitch from the publisher, Crown. “It should be a bible for younger women starting out in the workplace,” said Black. Though some executives usually write books near the end of their careers, Black said she’s not bowing out of the working world. “I don’t think I’m at the end of my career at all. [The book] is more a giving back to young people as they fight their way up in their careers.” — Stephanie D. Smith