NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY: Ad honcho Richard Kirshenbaum is usually in the business of promoting his clients, but who says promotion is a one-way street? Kirshenbaum recently helped Bruce Willis learn the ins and outs of the advertising world for his new movie, “Perfect Stranger,” and in return, Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners gets a plug in the movie. Kirshenbaum’s firm is a rival to Willis’ agency in the thriller, due in theaters Friday — which perhaps is a good thing, since Willis plays the villain.
And it seems Kirshenbaum wants to extend his brush with the celebrity world — he also pops up as a “top cop” for the “Fashion Police” feature in the April 16 issue of Us Weekly. Far from playing politic, the ad man doesn’t hold back from dissing those celebs. The magazine shows Nicole Kidman with frizzy hair and Kirshenbaum’s caption says, “Who knew you could Botox your hair?” Guess Kidman won’t be appearing in the next Kirshenbaum campaign. — Amy Wicks
GUNNING OFF: Get ready for more of Tim Gunn over the next few weeks — in addition to signing on for a fourth season of “Project Runway,” he’s got a book to plug, “Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style.” Some “Project Runway” viewers might wonder how those three words fit into the reality TV show, but Gunn at least knows it when he sees it. In the May issue of Elle, the TV judge and chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne Inc. gushes about designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg: “I have to say, she is the sexiest person I’ve ever encountered.” The former Parsons The New School for Design chair also discusses von Furstenberg’s power to command attention, the design skills of last season’s “Project Runway” finalists and how Claiborne chief executive Bill McComb solved his real estate woes. “McComb…asked me to meet, and we were talking about how I’m looking for a new apartment but I can’t afford anything. And Bill was saying very nonchalantly, ‘Well, that’s all going to change,'” Gunn said. — Stephanie D. Smith
VUITTON’S MAN: Louis Vuitton North America has hired Eric Lichtmess as its new advertising director, replacing Stephanie Jungbluth, who moved to the West Coast to work for Guess as advertising director. Lichtmess is joining Louis Vuitton from ADK America/Red Call Advertising, where he was responsible for the Ermenegildo Zegna USA account. He will direct the advertising and media efforts of Louis Vuitton in the U.S. and Canada. — A.W.
Clarification: An April 6 story in Memo Pad about celebrity weekly Star laying off two employees in its fashion department, fashion director Joni Cohen and marketing assistant Josh Liebman, said fashion publicists were informed of the move via an e-mail, which stated that, as of April 4, “There will no longer be fashion in Star or a Star fashion department.” That e-mail was sent by Cohen from her Star e-mail account prior to her departure, but was not an official statement from Star or its parent company, American Media Inc., an AMI spokesman said.