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HOPING FOR A DOWN MARKET?: Should the financial markets take another plunge, Puma is offering market watchers a silver lining: the nearly bare flesh of nubile models. In the Puma Index, a digital video campaign for Puma’s new bodywear lines, models wriggle out of their clothes when the market dips, and layer on the outerwear when it improves. (When the markets are closed, the models sleep.)
The campaign was created by Droga5, whose chief executive officer, Andrew Essex, had a long career editing at magazines such as Details and Absolute before jumping the fence to digital advertising. The campaign launched first as an iPhone app and then as a Web site, index.puma.com, and also ran exclusively on The Huffington Post on Tuesday. Downloading the iPhone app also yields a 20 percent discount at Puma stores.
This story first appeared in the September 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The men’s bodywear line launched this month, and women’s hits in the spring, but for now, the intended demographic is evident from the fact that the videos feature three female models and just one male model. “It reflects a certain demographic reality of the trading floor,” said Essex.
MOORE JOURNALISM: American newspapers have no one to blame but themselves for their bleak business prospects, according to Michael Moore, who gave an impassioned harangue on the topic during a Q&A with Tina Brown, following the New York premiere of his latest documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” “The truth is that newspapers in Europe are not folding — and I think they have the Internet there. The reason is that in Europe they fund themselves primarily through circulation, and advertising is number two,” he explained from the stage of Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center to a crowd including Mario Batali, Gretchen Mol, Wallace Shawn, Morgan Spurlock and Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who makes a star turn in the film. “Here [in the U.S.], advertising is the main source of funding, and circulation — the people who are reading the paper — is number two. If you put the people secondary to the advertising community, then people are going to stop buying the paper.”
Moore said newspapers were losing readers by laying off journalists and producing less meaningful content, in a counterproductive effort to boost profits. The message tied in neatly to the film, which is an indictment of the modern American capitalist system, particularly Wall Street banks and the politicians and purported financial regulators, both Democrat and Republican, who enjoy cozy relationships with one another.
Moore’s message was somewhat dampened by the plush environs of Lincoln Center, which is largely funded by some of the companies he takes on in the film: Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citibank and other financial institutions. The incongruity only increased when attendees — who witnessed heart-wrenching foreclosures and forcible evictions in the film — were bused to a lavish after party at the new Esquire Signature Space, a pair of penthouses in the Soho Mews luxury building currently on the market for $20 million. Moore took the paradox in stride. “I’m already starting my next movie in my head right now, the irony is so supreme,” he told WWD, ensconced on a sofa in front of a fire in the Costas Kondylis-designed living room, as a DJ blared Madonna. “As you know, I love that,” Moore said. — David Lipke
ONLINE RENEGADE: WSJ., the year-old glossy magazine from the Wall Street Journal, is branching out — and going against conventional Web wisdom in the process. While the title will continue quarterly print publication, next year it will add two online-only issues to the editorial calendar, going live in July and October to bridge the print issues. The bulk of the material will go live all at once, with some updated content in between, rather than being parceled out gradually, as online titles now do to generate regular visitors.
Editor in chief Tina Gaudoin said the magazine already had experimented with two smaller online-only issues that were “well received” by readers and advertisers, and that the forthcoming issues would include many of the same departments seen in the print edition. Asked if the online-only issues specifically would be adapted for the Web, Gaudoin replied: “They’ll be specifically adapted in the sense that it’ll be online. It will include the same length, the same quality, the same integrity as the magazine.” She said she is still deciding whether fashion well shoots would be produced for the Web. — Irin Carmon
HEARST MOVES: Marie Claire has hired Anne Fulenwider as executive editor, succeeding Lucy Kaylin, who left for O, The Oprah Magazine. Most recently, Fulenwider served as senior articles editor at Vanity Fair, where she assigned and edited feature articles and book excerpts. Prior to Vanity Fair, Fulenwider was a senior editor at The Paris Review.
Elsewhere at Hearst, Caragh Wilson, senior fashion market editor at Harper’s Bazaar, has left to travel. Joanna Hillman, who is succeeding Wilson, was senior fashion market editor at Teen Vogue. — Amy Wicks