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Memo Pad: Talk to the Droid… Among His Effects…

After Time Inc. made several big announcements about its expansion onto digital platforms, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg said his company will follow suit.

TALK TO THE DROID: After Time Inc. made several big announcements about its expansion onto digital platforms last week, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg said Monday morning that his company will follow suit. The New Yorker and Wired will begin publishing editions for devices running Google’s Android platform starting in the spring.

On Friday, Time Inc. Sports Group executives said Sports Illustrated will be available on Android devices. For the first time in the magazine business, Sports Illustrated subscribers will be able to access the magazine’s content on all platforms — print, the Web, tablets and smart phones — for one price. Earlier in the week, Time Inc. said it will also begin publishing Sports Illustrated, Time, Fortune and People on a new Hewlett-Packard tablet launching this summer.

This story first appeared in the February 15, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Condé Nast has not yet settled on a price for the Android editions of its magazines and is working to follow Time Inc.’s lead toward a multiplatform subscription package. The company entered the Android Market, Google’s answer to the iTunes stores, last summer with the launch of an Epicurious recipe app. It has since logged upward of 500,000 free downloads.

Time Inc. and Condé Nast’s expansion into other tablet marketplaces might raise a flag for Apple. The company has thus far been unwilling to compromise with magazine publishers over the share of revenue it takes from magazine sales in the iTunes store or the way it protects consumer information, while the iPad has enjoyed a practical monopoly.

— ZEKE TURNER

AMONG HIS EFFECTS: Advertising whiz Peter Arnell might be none too happy about his dismissal as chairman and chief executive officer of Arnell Group LLC, but he’s refusing to take the loss of his personal collectibles without a fight. Arnell, the brains behind branding campaigns for Donna Karan, Emanuel Emanuel Ungaro and others, is suing Arnell and Omnicom Group Inc., which purchased his company 10 years ago, for more than $1 million, excluding damages and other costs.

Arnell filed suit in New York State Supreme Court on Feb. 4 and, beyond disclosing his termination just two days earlier, revealed that he had amassed a collection of “unique and irreplaceable” items, including “unique and one-of-a-kind books” and “artistic materials” both before and after Omnicom’s acquisition. Although pieces bought after Omnicom took over were partially purchased by Omnicom, the suit notes that they are “the tools with which [Arnell] conducts his intellectual business life.”

The suit seeks the return of both the pre- and post-acquisition troves or “a sum in excess of $1 million” if the collection isn’t returned.

The two sides are scheduled for a first conference on March 18 in front of Judge Doris Ling-Cohan.

Omnicom declined to comment.

ALEXANDRA STEIGRAD

TURNING UP THE HEAT: Macy’s is testing a sexier, trendier marketing campaign targeting college students in Chicago this month. Holding a series of pop-up events involving red bikini-clad models passing out hot chocolate from beach-themed huts, Macy’s is visiting 10 colleges including Northwestern University, University of Chicago and Columbia College to promote its “Star Beach Party,” a spring break-themed shopping event at Macy’s on State Street March 5.

To generate further buzz, ad vans featuring a model’s bikini-ed bottom and stating “This Spring Break Is Gonna Be Hot” will tour campuses, featuring a texting code for further information. The bikini logo is also set to appear on pizza boxes and coffee sleeves as part of the campaign developed by MARC USA.

“We’re reaching students through the channels they use most to find and share information,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive vice president of marketing, noting the retailer is also utilizing Facebook and Twitter. “The Star Beach Party is designed to change the way college students think about shopping at department stores.”

If the move proves successful, the concept may be rolled out to other Macy’s stores.

— BETH WILSON

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