Memo Pad: W’s Brand Campaign… Bettencourt Affair Reignites…

Starting today, W is launching a new brand campaign, dubbing the Condé Nast monthly as “Fashion’s After Party.”

HOPING FOR A PARTY: Starting today, W is launching a new brand campaign, dubbing the Condé Nast monthly as “Fashion’s After Party.”

“We were trying to define what is special and how different is W from other publications,” said editor in chief Stefano Tonchi. “Other publications have these parties that are sometimes very formal, sometimes very brief, sometimes very boring, sometimes very glamorous, but somehow it is always a place where you don’t necessarily have a lot of fun. And we were talking about how you have fun after the party.”

This story first appeared in the June 13, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“When you look at Fashion’s After Party, that means it is exclusive, it’s insider, it’s the place where the fun happens and the heels get kicked off,” said Nina Lawrence, W’s publisher. “That’s the personality of W and it is not — it is not — the brand position of any other magazine out there.”

W publishing director Bill Wackermann said the brand campaign is starting now because Tonchi has been in the job for just over a year and he’s had a chance to “solidify his vision” of the magazine.

The campaign will use photos that have appeared in W and the ads will be splayed on taxi rooftops, phone kiosks, inside Condé Nast magazines and on its Web sites. Also, the W team will be sending bottles of Dom Perignon to celebrities, designers and a few restaurants and nightclubs around the city and the Hamptons in an attempt to stir up excitement.

The brand campaign comes at a time when W could use a further bump in business. Ad page growth has been modest with a 5 percent gain through the first half of 2011 after a year in which it was down 1.9 percent.


MIND GAMES: The war of words in the reignited Bettencourt affair is gathering steam. Over the weekend, Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oréal’s biggest individual shareholder, told the Journal du Dimanche her daughter — who last week launched new claims her mother’s entourage is taking advantage of her deteriorating mental state — should see a shrink.

“My daughter isn’t happy,” said the 88-year-old, who also posed for the cover of the Sunday paper in a peony pink jacket, top and scarf. “She has changed a lot. She really needs to confide to a psychiatrist.” She went on to describe her daughter as “someone who is psychically a bit disturbed.”

As reported, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and her sons reportedly contacted the guardianship judge in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie on June 7 to grant her mother a measure of judicial protection from people looking to profit from her alleged weakness, particularly Bettencourt’s lawyer, Pascal Wilhelm.


NEW IMAGE: Bally has a new design duo, Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, and an ad campaign to show off their contemporary concept for the brand. The designers chose Steven Meisel to shoot models Caroline Trentini, Karlie Kloss and Nico Malleville in an opulent Old World atmosphere at the Essex House Hotel in New York. The models are portrayed sitting on a tan leather sofa, clad in fur or checkered wovens, their black bags and ice-pick metal heels in full view.

The fall ads will appear in Italian newspapers on June 19, the day of the brand’s men’s spring 2012 press presentation. The campaign breaks internationally in fashion magazines in the August and September issues. The ad budget was not disclosed but Bally plans a double-digit increase in investment in key European, Asian and North American markets.


OUT OF VOGUE: British Vogue is losing two of its longtime staffers, Robin Derrick and Kate Phelan. Derrick, who has been with the title since 1992, is leaving to pursue freelance creative projects, according to a Condé Nast U.K. spokeswoman. He had been Vogue’s creative director since 2001, and created the visual handprint of the current magazine. He worked on Vogue exhibitions, books and events, and the ongoing translation into digital with Vogue apps. Phelan has been with Vogue since 1993, and is the title’s fashion director. She is taking on the role of creative director at Topshop. Phelan had been a long-term collaborator with Topshop while at Vogue. In her new role, she will focus on the creative direction of the brand, overseeing product development and brand identity, according to Topshop.


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