SECOND LIFE: When Condé Nast Portfolio folded last month, Advertising Age reported the magazine’s companion Web site, Portfolio.com, might stay alive in some form. But one high-level executive at the time shot down second-time-around prospects for the site, explaining Condé Nast only has brands with both Web and print properties. Well, it did until now. On Wednesday, the company said American City Business Journals, a division of Condé parent Advance Publications, would take over Portfolio.com. The financial site’s business and editorial divisions will be overseen by Bizjournals.com, which operates the Web sites for ACBJ’s 40 city business newspapers. J. Jennings Moss, who was a Portfolio.com deputy editor, will oversee the site’s editorial content, and Alan Ives, executive vice president, sales Bizjournals.com, will spearhead the business side. Though ACBJ is based in Charlotte, N.C., Portfolio.com will be based in New York at Condé Nast’s 750 Third Avenue offices. Under ACBJ, Portfolio.com, which had generated 4 million page views a month, will include archives from Portfolio’s print and digital issue, as well as content from other Condé Nast sites including wired.com, golfdigest.com, and WWD.com.
— Stephanie D. Smith
MARCH OF THE PENGUIN: Belying his band’s name, All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter has become quite the fashion mannequin. After two seasons starring in Boss Orange ads, the musician is switching allegiance and will headline the fall ’09 Original Penguin campaign.
“We looked at so many models but in the end we wanted someone who looked interesting,” said Pablo de Echevarria, senior vice-president of marketing at Perry Ellis International, which owns Original Penguin.
The story concept for the campaign involves Ritter on a cross-country road trip in a 1967 Buick Skylark, during which he meets a waitress at a diner and embarks on a romance. The cinematic ads were lensed by photographer Danielle Levitt at the Art Deco-style Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. and a nearby motel. “The motel rented rooms by the hour,” noted de Echevarria. “There was a lot of Purell involved.”
Original Penguin is increasing its ad budget for fall over last year, according to the company, but it declined to provide a precise figure. The campaign will appear in 14 titles beginning in August, including GQ, Details, Out, Nylon Guys, The New York Times’ T magazine, Vice, Gotham and Ocean Drive. Additionally, there will be outdoor billboards and an online component on social networking sites. “We think this is a good time to invest in the brand and gain market share, despite the economy,” said de Echevarria.
Original Penguin currently operates six freestanding stores in the U.S. and an e-commerce site. Additionally, there are units overseas in London, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg and Santiago, Chile. The brand’s wholesale accounts include Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s West and Barneys Co-op.
The bulk of Original Penguin’s business is in men’s wear, with a smattering of women’s wear available in the U.S. and a larger women’s collection available overseas.
— David Lipke
BIG KISS: Before heading to Cannes to meet up with boyfriend Orlando Bloom, model Miranda Kerr stopped in New York last Friday to shoot the fall campaign for XOXO. The brand is continuing its “hugs and kisses, XOXO” theme, said Christina Cassar, senior director marketing communications. “We feel like our customer can relate to Miranda.” The new images will be part of a print campaign that is similar in scale to past seasons, but the brand is increasing its online advertising presence with a new e-commerce site that re-launches today. After a two-month hiatus, the site, which was previously managed externally, is now in-house and it will sell the full XOXO collection, including accessories, and incorporate social networks by linking to an XOXO Facebook fan page. “Online is so important and we are committed to it and taking it to a new level,” said Steven Nakash, executive vice president, global licensing. “Everything on the site will be about affordable luxury.”
— Amy Wicks