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KENNEDY’S TIME: Omega has brand ambassadors such as Nicole Kidman and Cindy Crawford appearing in advertisements, but the company is about to add a new face to its roster — only this time around it’s not a star of the moment or top athlete: It’s John F. Kennedy in his first-ever ad campaign. Omega is basing the worldwide campaign for its Speedmaster chronograph watches around a photograph of the 35th president that was used in cooperation with the John. F Kennedy Library Foundation, which administers the rights to the late president’s name and image. The company chose JFK for a few reasons: He wore an Omega at his inauguration and, while he served as president, America’s first manned space flights took place, and on the final two missions in the Mercury program, two of the astronauts wore Omega Speedmasters. The new Speedmaster timepiece marks the 40th anniversary of landing on the moon, and Omega was the first watch ever worn there. The JFK ad, which features his quote, “We choose to go to the moon,” will debut in the May issue of Interview.
— Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the April 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LOOKING INWARD: The annual Overseas Press Club Awards highlight the best journalism focused on international crisis, but at the 70th such event, held Wednesday at Mandarin Oriental in New York City, the domestic crisis faced by the news business seemed to weigh most heavily.
The event, said president Alan Dodds Frank, “is not a wake,” in case there was any confusion. But that didn’t stop Jim Lehrer from tearing up while accepting the President’s Award for lifetime achievement. (In his defense, Lehrer said, he’d been known to “tear up during a good light beer commercial.”) And though New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins, who won for best nonfiction book on international affairs, “The Forever War,” was on the road, he sent rather urgent word via his editor: “I love newspapers. We need them more than ever. Long may they live.” Ruth Gruber, 97, was honored for her career as a foreign correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, during which she became the first foreign correspondent ever to go to the Soviet Arctic. Gruber, in white sequins, spilled her secret for living as long as she has: “It’s four easy words,” she said. “Never, never, never retire.”
— Rebecca Harrington
SPEAKING HER MIND: Self editor Lucy Danziger has taken well to blogging — and perhaps to its blunter tone as well. At a recent breakfast for the magazine’s Healthy Beauty Awards, she told the audience of beauty executives that her Yahoo-syndicated blog is “taking in numbers that make people at Condé Nast jealous. Don’t tell my fellow editors in chief! But they don’t blog anyway, so what the heck.” Those numbers, according to Danziger, included 10.8 million page views in March. She then pulled out a camera and snapped a shot of the crowd for her blog.
Danziger also pointed out Kathy Leutner — a model the magazine frequently shoots — as an exemplar of the Self reader. Leutner recently graduated with a degree in communications. “Sit down; eat your breakfast,” Danziger urged Leutner after introducing her to the crowd. “Healthy girls eat. Self models eat.”
The awards honored 86 products, voted on by a panel of 1,370 readers.
— Irin Carmon
REALITY CHECK: Tinsley Mortimer has created her own version of celebrity reality, which raises the question as to whether lately she’s been starring in her own reality TV series. It certainly looked that way to guests at the opening of Douglas Friedman’s “Lady” exhibit at the Ruffian showroom on Thursday night, where Mortimer arrived to congratulate the fashion photographer with her very own camera crew in tow. An equipment-wielding, five-man team followed the socialite around the tightly packed party, catching her as she chatted with friend Peter Davis and admired the artwork on display. Still, Mortimer denied any speculation of having a reality show in the works, telling WWD the crew was filming for a segment, which would air on Japanese TV (she’s big in Japan). But a member of the socialite’s entourage offered a different story, claiming the footage would be used for a reality pilot that’s being shopped to American networks, including the CW. (A rep for the CW could not be reached for comment.) The project wouldn’t be Mortimer’s first foray into the reality genre: Last spring, it was reported the socialite went before the cameras for an MTV program network executives eventually shelved. And later this year, Mortimer will appear as a guest judge on “The Fashion Show,” Bravo’s upcoming “Project Runway” stand-in.
— Amanda FitzSimons