ASHTON’S NEW JEANS: Ashton Kutcher is going back to his roots — and replacing Sienna Miller along the way. After getting his start as a Calvin Klein model, Kutcher has now been tapped as the face of Madrid-based denim brand Pepe Jeans London through fall. The actor will make his debut for Pepe in the brand’s spring campaign, which was shot by David Sims in New York, and styled by Joe McKenna. Kutcher replaces Miller as the face of the brand, and he will share the spring campaign with model Daria Werbowy, who is contracted to Pepe for one season only. And, while Kutcher may be better known for playing pranks on gullible celebrities in his TV series “Punk’d” than for his style credentials, he’s always kept a toe in the fashion pool. In fall 2006, he played fashion reporter for Harper’s Bazaar, accompanying his wife, Demi Moore, on the show circuit during New York Fashion Week. — Nina Jones
REALLY, WE PLANNED THIS ALL ALONG: Fortune magazine began a redesign about six months ago, which was coincidentally just around the time new rival Condé Nast Portfolio launched. But one has nothing to do with the other, claimed Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer. “We haven’t had a redesign in more than 10 years,” he maintained. “It looked like a 1990s magazine, but now it’s easier to navigate, there is more white space and it fits in the right decade.” Fortune decided to keep the redesign in-house, led by design director Bob Perino. The results, which will first be seen in the Dec. 10 issue, include much more varied and larger graphics than traditionally seen in the past — at least in Fortune. Changes to the table of contents and new colors have popped up, although bigger alterations include a new technology section (home to many old Business 2.0 staffers) and expanding the coverage of others. “Life at Play,” for example, shows chief executives how to spend their money (and, presumably, is a good way to credit all those fashion and luxury brands the magazine hopes will advertise). The cover hasn’t been tinkered with too much, just a little change to the width of the logo letters and a shift in font. A new Web site also has launched that looks similar to the redesigned magazine, but will offer unique stories from its dedicated staff of 10.
As for advertising, publisher Hugh Wiley said a trade campaign will break in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, with a mix of old and new covers. He acknowledged the tough ad environment for many business titles, including Fortune, which was down 18.6 percent in ad pages for 2007 through September, from the prior-year period, according to Publishers Information Bureau. But after spending a few weeks in Detroit recently, he is confident the beleaguered Big Three U.S. automakers will increase their ad budgets by single-digit percentages, if not more, in Fortune next year. BMW North America, which got wind of the magazine’s redesign, is greatly increasing its inside cover ads and Dell is moving its ads from inside the magazine to the back cover, over several issues. Wiley added a large telecommunications firm has also just signed a $5 million ad deal that includes print and online coverage. “Would you bet against us next year? I wouldn’t,” Serwer said. — Amy Wicks
WE QUIT — FOR NOW: It looks like R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., home to the controversial Camel No. 9 ads that have run in several women’s magazines, has decided to pull the plug on its print advertising next year. According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, the company will continue its cigarette marketing in other environments, such as direct mail and online. “This was a business decision, designed to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing programs,” Jan Smith, a spokeswoman for Reynolds, told the company’s hometown paper. A spokeswoman for Reynolds did not return calls for comment.
A representative for Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.) said that, regardless of R.J. Reynolds’ current decision, the Democratic congresswoman will continue to put pressure on women’s magazines because the tobacco company could decide to add print advertising at some future point. “Another letter will probably be sent out [to editors] next week,” said the spokeswoman. — A.W.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: The December issue of Vanity Fair contains an unusual editor’s note: It expresses regret that a 1995 book by Carol Polsgrove on Esquire in the Sixties wasn’t cited as a source in a Vanity Fair article by Frank DiGiacomo — which ran in January.
So why the delay? And what exactly did being a source for the story mean? Polsgrove, a journalism professor at Indiana University, told WWD she doesn’t subscribe to Vanity Fair and had only read the piece last summer. “I felt the story relied on my book as a template,” she said, citing three years of research and “winnowing down that material.” She added, “Credit would have been enough. I’m not saying he plagiarized.” In early September, she wrote to Vanity Fair to say so and called their response “prompt and considerate.” Two mentions of the book were added to the online version, and the editor’s note was put in.
A spokeswoman for the magazine said via e-mail, “Frank DiGiacomo did read Carol Polsgrove’s entertaining book along with other books and articles by and about Esquire’s staff while researching his article ‘The Esquire Decade.’ He referred to Polsgrove’s book in his original draft of the story and unfortunately it was dropped in the editing process. We published the editor’s note after hearing from Ms. Polsgrove because we thought it was the correct thing to do. That said, Frank did all of his own archival research and conducted his own interviews and, as is often the case with historical stories, many of the best anecdotes were repeated.” — Irin Carmon