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TOM TOTALLY NUDE — AGAIN: What Tom Ford did five years ago for full-frontal male nudity in his ads for the M7 fragrance for Yves Saint Laurent, he’s about to do for the opposite sex in the ones for Tom Ford for Men. Though the designer took a more demure approach in his original ad campaign for his new fragrance, he’s decided to shock the masses once again, switching images shot by Marilyn Minter in April for racier photographs of a dewy woman’s body taken by Terry Richardson. The photos range from tame to titillating — the most shocking being the Tom Ford for Men bottle wedged between a woman’s glistening thighs, with the bottle barely covering her bare genitalia. “We loved the original Marilyn Minter images, but while on a shoot with [Richardson] in Milan, we decided that a sharper, more graphic approach clearly communicated the bold and provocative mood of the fragrance,” said a spokeswoman for Tom Ford Beauty, a division of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
WWD reported in June that Ford took a more staid approach with his latest fragrance, but that eventually his affinity for nudity would return. “I think we’re living for a moment where maybe we saw so much nudity, at least in the press and magazines, that it doesn’t seem the freshest solution; it almost seems too easy right now as a solution for advertising to get someone’s attention,” he said at the time. “So whenever everything tightens up again, of course, all of a sudden it’s going to seem interesting and surprising to see someone nude again.”
How quickly that time has arrived. In addition to the baring-all shot, the latest campaign includes a photo of a clothed Ford reclining with his shirt open, and another of the perfume bottle resting between a woman’s breasts cupped by her hands. Ford handpicked the images for each magazine based on their core audience, according to Andrea Robinson, president of Tom Ford Beauty. Vanity Fair is running the ad in its October issues, but would not confirm which image it was given to run. GQ has been approached, but it could not be learned if it will run the ad. The upper body photographs are running in the October issues of Interview and V Man, while Details is running the more risque lower body shot.
“The ad was provocative, sexy, keeps with the Tom Ford brand and is something our readers would appreciate. It will raise eyebrows, but it errs on the artistic side instead of the gratuitous side,” said Chris Mitchell, Details vice president and publisher. — Stephanie D. Smith
POP GOES THE WEASEL: London-based Emap Consumer title Pop is coming out with its fall issue on Thursday. Lindsay Lohan — shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott — is on the cover, and there’s a Steven Klein shoot inside with Beth Ditto. The singer is wearing specially-made clothing by Giles Deacon, Louis Vuitton, and Gareth Pugh.
So far, so normal. It’s what fashion magazines do every month, publish stories and pictures of celebrities wearing designer clothes. But in the case of Pop and some other titles, those words and images are quickly taking on sacred cow status.
Take, for instance, the contract — on Emap’s letterhead — sent to WWD before Pop would allow it to write about the latest issue. The contract stipulates, among other things, that the cover photo must be reproduced in color, at a height no less than 50 mm, and the image must be clearly distinguishable from any surrounding artwork on the page. The magazine, and the title of the issue, must be “in a prominent position” at the end of the article.
And the contract goes on — to a total of 11 bullet points. With regard to any potential story, “at least” two sentences from Pop editor in chief Katie Grand must be included in the accompanying piece; no “derogatory comments” should be made toward Ditto or Pop, and the magazine’s title “must be written and included in the heading or sub-heading” of the piece.
“Any breach of this agreement will be subject to a fine of 10,000 pounds [about $20,000], payable to Emap Consumer Media,” it stipulates.
While the contract may seem to be a new level of absurdity in public relations’ attempts to control the flow of information — even that about a magazine — Mandi Lennard, a longtime London p.r. agent who represents Pop, defended her position. “We have a responsibility to celebrities who [we] feature in Pop that such material is appropriately featured and accurately credited,” Lennard said in an e-mail Friday.
“Before supplying imagery, it is usual practice for me to confirm that certain points may be carried out — size of the magazine’s cover image, that it won’t be altered in any way, correct credit for the issue….
“This is Pop’s story, and if we didn’t insist on key points, it could easily be a WWD story on Beth Ditto, or misinterpreted — I think a lot of points listed are actually helpful to you as an editor, and enable you to more readily have a great story — so everyone wins!”
Lennard later conceded that, “It is a standard Emap agreement that we send out as an insurance, particularly (as I’m sure you can imagine!) with the tabloids. However we would be quite happy to take it out of our agreement with you based on our close relationship with both yourself and WWD.”
“In the past, we’ve been heavily burned by respected magazines and Sunday newspaper supplements that have run preview pictures and interviews from Pop — and made it look like their own work,” Grand said in a telephone interview. “Pop is barely mentioned, quotes have been taken out of context, credits are inaccurate, and the photographers and celebrities that we’ve worked hard with have gone mad. It’s very nice when people want to write about what is coming out in Pop, but it’s easy for them to cross the line,” she continued. “That is how these contracts come into being.” — Samantha Conti
OH, THERE ARE ARTICLES, TOO: In the ever-rushing trend for editorial Web sites to develop additional bells and whistles, nymag.com is adding personal shopper to its list. On Tuesday, the site is launching Shop-a-Matic, which will debut with nearly 1,000 home items, from beds to lamps to dining room tables. And in September, the site will expand to include accessories and fashion. But while Vogue and other titles enable visitors to click through and actually buy the items they view, that won’t be the case on nymag.com — at least not yet. So why bother? Well, Shop-a-Matic will enable readers to view items that normally wouldn’t be seen unless they went to the actual store. Even retailers such as ABC Carpet & Home surprisingly don’t offer click-to-buy opportunities, said editorial director Ben Williams. Shop-a-Matic will offer details on where each item can be found, including an address and phone number — but, of course, a consumer will still have to trek to the store to buy anything.
Editors have spent the past two months visiting stores in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs to find and photograph items, said Williams. He added the site wasn’t done with advertisers in mind, “but obviously there will be opportunities.” And so far, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nexxus and Net-a-Porter are on board. “We will frequently add more categories to our store,” he added. “This is one in a series of new things we are launching.”
In the same vein of more-for-the-Web, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire are rolling out new mobile sites today. And unlike some of their competitors, the sites are free of charge and include absolutely no banner ads. However, on Bazaar’s site, visitors can download vintage covers for $1.99 and Marie Claire’s mobile site will have downloadable wallpaper. Sophia Stuart, mobile director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, said the company now has nine magazines available on mobile phones. — Amy Wicks
STAND IN: It will surprise no one that reality television involves a fair amount of artifice, and the day the hit MTV show “The Hills” took its cameras to Condé Nast’s Times Square headquarters proved no different. (Cast members have been variously employed at Teen Vogue, though the bulk of shooting has been on the West Coast). Last week, the longtime receptionist on the ninth floor briefly disappeared, and word was that she was to be replaced by a more telegenic youngster. But a spokeswoman for Teen Vogue denied that was the reason. “When MTV has filmed in any of our offices we leave it up to employees as to whether or not they want to appear on camera,” she said. “In the past the receptionist on the Teen Vogue floor at 4 Times Square has not wanted to be on camera and we have honored that request and had an intern sit in as the receptionist during filming.” Perhaps the receptionist had her fill from her previous television appearance — when “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” came to film a segment with GQ, also on the ninth floor. — Irin Carmon