HUT, HUT, HIKE: Wrangler couldn’t have timed it better when it comes to Brett Favre. The news of the 39-year-old quarterback joining the Minnesota Vikings comes just as Wrangler is unveiling a new fall ad campaign for its Five Star Premium Denim label, featuring Favre.
“For Wrangler, whatever Brett’s decision is on whether or not to retire doesn’t matter to us either way,” said Jenni Broyles, senior marketing communications manager for Wrangler’s mass business. “Brett makes a great spokesperson for Wrangler because he truly is a Wrangler guy and lives the Wrangler lifestyle. Our partnership is effective because it’s based on this sincere connection to the Wrangler consumer and his career decisions are not changing that.”
The new campaign, which features the theme “You Can Count on Wrangler: Comfort, Quality, Value,” includes television, print, radio and online components. The first television ads break this week. Along with a campaign for the Wrangler Jeans Co. label, featuring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., Wrangler expects to make 3.4 billion media impressions this fall.
The company, a unit of VF Corp., declined to divulge its fall ad budget. In 2008, Wrangler spent $23.4 million on television, $11.5 million on magazines and $1.7 million on radio, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
The print campaigns begin this month, with the buy including Sports Illustrated, People, Popular Mechanics, The Sporting News, Field & Stream, NASCAR Illustrated, Country Weekly and Lindy’s Football. Both Wrangler Five Star Premium Denim and Wrangler Jeans Co. product sells for less than $20, with distribution in the mass channel, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target.
— David Lipke
NO MORE SPECIAL SHOPS: Lucky will no longer produce regional editions of its magazine that included product and shopping information specific to more than a dozen cities. The Condé Nast shopping title at one time produced 14 different versions of the magazine to distribute to cities including Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Miami and Philadelphia, and employed stringers in various cities to produce specific content for each area. But since 2004 — long before McKinsey & Co. arrived in the halls of 4 Times Square — Lucky has pared back its regional editions. That year, it dropped two regionals and, six months ago, it stopped producing special editions in Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore and Dallas. By November, the magazine will cease regional editions for Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. As of January, the magazine will no longer publish a New York regional issue. Lucky will further integrate national shopping coverage into its pages and on its Web site, luckymag.com. “After thorough research and evaluation of the continuing effectiveness of the regional editions, it was decided that they had served their purpose and that we would not be hurt by eliminating them,” said editor in chief Kim France. A spokeswoman for the magazine said some stringers would not have their contracts renewed as a result of the move.
— Stephanie D. Smith
MICHELLE TOPS OPRAH: Despite the challenges of the media economy, Oprah Winfrey still claims a roughly similar spot on this year’s Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women list, coming in at number 41, compared with last year’s 36th place. But she’s narrowly beat by a new entrant: First Lady Michelle Obama, at number 40. Other media figures on the list include New York Times chief executive officer Janet Robinson (49); Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures (59th); Judy McGrath, ceo of MTV Networks (61); DreamWorks head Stacey Snider (62), and Time Inc. ceo Ann Moore (86). The top two spots haven’t changed since last year, although their jobs have unquestionably gotten harder — German chancellor Angela Merkel and FDIC chairman Sheila Bair. One more newcomer to this year’s list is new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who placed 54th.
— Irin Carmon
WEB DEALINGS: Time Warner has revealed plans to extend its partnership with YouTube. For the past year or so, YouTube has offered an HBO-branded channel with promotional content from shows such as “Entourage” and “True Blood,” but under the new deal, YouTube also will post short clips from movies, Warner Bros. television shows such as “Gossip Girl” and CNN news coverage, as well as access to TNT’s dramas and the Cartoon Network. Time Warner will sell ad time on YouTube through targeted advertising, supplemental marketing and branded channels, and the two companies will share ad revenue. Videos from Time Warner properties will appear on YouTube and across Google’s product suite.
Meanwhile, in other Web-related news, MySpace confirmed on Wednesday that it has acquired music site iLike. Chief executive Owen Van Natta said the acquisition is part of his pursuit toward innovation in music and entertainment on MySpace. He declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, but News Corp. is reportedly paying $20 million for iLike.
— Amy Wicks
VIRTUAL PAPER DOLLS: Polyvore, the site where users create virtual outfits out of looks from their favorite brands — Abercrombie & Fitch and Balmain are two of the most popular — received $5.6 million in a second round of venture funding, the company said Tuesday. The new infusion from Matrix Partners, Benchmark Capital and others brings the company’s total capitalization to $8.1 million. The site gets more than 4 million visitors a month and has six employees. It is based in Mountain View, Calif.
— Cate T. Corcoran
PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES: Britain’s newspapers have been weighing in on Prince Charles’ meddling in some high-profile London architectural projects — admittedly, one of his favorite tasks.
On Monday, The Guardian newspaper reported the Prince of Wales had tried to have the Pritzker Prize-winning Jean Nouvel axed as the designer of an office and shopping complex near St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The Guardian’s revelation comes after the prince’s successful campaign in May to oust architect Richard Rogers from a multibillion-dollar housing project in London’s Chelsea.
Hank Dittmar, chief executive officer of The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, an architecture school and trust founded by Prince Charles, said in an Evening Standard editorial the prince was “speaking for most Londoners” on the topic of design.
Ian Leith, a spokesman for the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, called the recent attacks on Charles a “personal vendetta” on the part of Britain’s architects.
But Stirling Prize-winning architect Will Alsop says there’s no vendetta. “What the prince is doing is demoralizing to architects,” he said. “And it seems that the better the architect, the more Prince Charles wants to get involved. Why doesn’t he speak out against the majority of the crap that gets built nowadays?”
Alsop told WWD, however, that Charles is just one of many meddlers. “In London and southeast England, in particular, there’s a lot of interference from busybodies in the local and central governments,” he said. “They take the fun and enjoyment out of the work, for us and for the public.”
— Samantha Conti