POLO PROMOTES: Polo Ralph Lauren’s Nancy Murray has been promoted to senior vice president of corporate affairs, a new position. Murray, who was vice president of investor relations, is adding responsibilities for worldwide oversight of corporate, employee and fashion communications, as well as investor relations. She will now report to Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer, as well as continue to report to Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer. On fashion and corporate communications matters, she will report to David Lauren, senior vice president of marketing, advertising and communications.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: The Black Retail Action Group on Friday night presented Business Achievement Awards to Max Wilson, vice president of women’s design at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.; eveningwear designer Eric Gaskins; Ava Hill-Gaunt, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of kids at Bob’s Stores, and John R. Thompson, senior vice president at Bestbuy.com and Retail Information Systems at Best Buy. BRAG’s 32nd annual gala also honored Susan Van Brackle, founder of MIKSU Cosmetics, with the JJ Thomas Young Innovator’s Award.
BOND TIME: The James Bond marketing machine is kicking into high gear as the Nov. 22 opening nears for the latest 007 movie, “Die Another Day.” This afternoon, a two-block area in Times Square will be usurped for a bevy of Bond-related events, courtesy of Omega watches, the official James Bond timepiece. Among events planned are a visit from Pierce Brosnan; a Bond trivia contest in which comedian Caroline Rhea and other guests will try to win an Omega timepiece; a preview of Bond memorabilia as well as the new Ski-Doo Omega watch style that will be featured in the film, and other Omega watches that have been worn by Bond in past movies. “Die Another Day” has a range of corporate tie-ins from companies including Aston Martin, Samsonite and Sony, in deals said to be worth up to $45 million each for their products to appear in the film.
CATALOG CALL: JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., has bought catalog subsidiaries Arizona Mail Order and Figi’s from Federated Department Stores for undisclosed consideration. The direct-marketing businesses will be combined into a new holding company called Crosstown Traders Inc. Arizona, based in Tucson, Ariz., and will operate women’s apparel catalog titles such as Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram, Brownstone Studio, Regalia and Intimate Appeal. Figi’s is a food catalog. Both operations were part of Federated’s former Fingerhut Cos. division, which included Popular Club Plan. As reported, core Fingerhut assets were sold to Ted Deikel and Tom Petters. Popular Club Plan remains under the Federated umbrella.