THE SWEETEST GIFT: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and its golden ticket seem to be the trend of the season, judging by the number of retailers hiding or otherwise giving away gift cards to pump up shopper traffic. Diesel did it last week, and now Judith Ripka is linking with InStyle to do the same. The jewelry firm took out a four-page gatefold in the May issue that contains a “Shop for a Cause” gift card. The card is worth $1,000 toward any piece of gold Ripka jewelry or $100 toward a silver item, with 10 percent of each sale earned from the program benefiting Dress for Success Worldwide. Readers can redeem the cards either at a Ripka store or its Web site. “By incentivizing people to shop, we hope to not only raise significant funds for Dress for Success Worldwide, but also make people feel good about shopping and reentering the stream of commerce,” said Ronald Berk, chief executive officer at The Judith Ripka Companies Inc. “It’s a win-win for all.”
— Caroline Tell
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LOOKING BACK: In the latest issue of More, Isabella Rossellini is elegantly blunt on the decision of Lancôme to drop her in 1995 for being too old. “I think they regret that. Still, it was a great experience to work with Lancôme, and they made me rich,” she told the magazine in a new back-page feature, “No Regrets,” in which a well-known over-40 woman looks back on her life. Rossellini’s daughter, Elettra Wiedemann, is now a face of the brand. More is also taking 50 of its readers to the CARE conference, dedicated to training activists to work on women’s rights, climate change and antipoverty issues. Editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour will moderate a panel there.
— Irin Carmon
A DIGITAL ECOLOGIST: Paper — even the recycled kind — is now passé at the Ecologist in Britain. The environmentally crusading magazine, whose director is Zac Goldsmith, will publish as an online magazine only from June, and its final printed issue will hit U.K. newsstands June 19. But Goldsmith, who is Jemima Goldsmith’s brother and whose uncle Teddy Goldsmith founded the magazine in 1970, put a positive spin on the news. “Relaunching online will enable the Ecologist to react faster to what is now a global and daily debate on how best to preserve the world in which we all live,” said Goldsmith. And in a statement on the magazine’s Web site, Goldsmith faced any awkward suggestions about tough times at the title head-on. “First, this is not a face-saving way of closing down,” he said. “The Ecologist has lost money from the day it was launched in 1970, and will continue until the last edition is printed. It was never set up as a business venture. It was set up as a campaign, and like all good campaigns, it costs….In print, our readership is necessarily limited. We will always aspire to reach millions, but that will never happen.”
The magazine will unveil a relaunched Web site at theecologist.org in late June. The current issue of the magazine, which has a circulation of 20,000 and a cover price of 3.50 pounds, or $5.20, features stories including “How to Turn your Town Plastic Bag Free,” and “Can Silver ever be Ethical?” Its advertisers include an electricity company called Good Energy; Triodos, an ethical bank, and Vintage Roots, an organic wine specialist. The company said it is in consultations with its staff about the online move, but a spokesman for the magazine declined comment on whether there would be any layoffs at the title.
— Nina Jones