CALVIN’S SPRING LOOK: Calvin Klein Collection selected model Anna Selezneva, who walked in the September runway show, for its spring campaign, replacing Suvi, who has been the on-and-off face of the Collection for the past few seasons. Fabien Baron remains creative director, even though he didn’t shoot the campaign, which was photographed by David Sims. It’s the first time he’s shot the Collection campaign since fall 2001 (however, Sims has shot other campaigns for Calvin Klein since then). And clearly not wanting to tamper with a formula that’s working, Calvin Klein white label has once again selected Gabriel Aubry and Doutzen for the new campaign, although a few new faces — Jamie Strachan and Cameron Russell — have been added to the mix, all shot by Craig McDean. McDean also shot the ck Calvin Klein campaign, which will run primarily in Europe and includes model Anna Jagodzinska. A spokesman said the media buy will be similar to past seasons — from this August to December, for example, the brand planned to run 354 ad pages in 44 titles.
— Amy Wicks
JUNKING THE TIMES: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú’s recent $250 million investment in The New York Times Co. — and the proposed sale of part of its headquarters building — will help the company meet some of its financial obligations, but it wasn’t enough to save the newspaper publisher’s debt from falling into junk territory. Moody’s Investors Service on Friday dropped its ratings on the company three notches, to Ba3 from Baa3, which reflects the poor ad environment, “exacerbated by secular pressure facing newspaper companies.”
LIGHTWEIGHT MARCH ISSUES: As media agencies and analysts predicted, the first quarter of 2009 proved to be a bloody one for magazines. According to figures published today by Media Industry Newsletter, the large fashion and beauty titles saw an overall 22 percent decline in advertising pages in the first three months of the year, a reflection of the recession impacting print. From the high-fashion to the more mass titles, the dismal numbers demonstrate to what extent advertisers are staying on the sidelines until things improve.
Allure, for example, saw a 35 percent drop in ad pages to 214 pages in the first quarter, while Vogue declined 28 percent, or 218 pages, to a total of 563 for the period. Glamour declined 22 percent to 291, and W posted a 40 percent drop, or 218 ad pages, for the quarter, carrying 322 pages. Glamour’s 291 ad pages this quarter reflect a 22 percent slide. And as same-store sales at retailers continue to slide, shopping magazine Lucky saw a 35 percent contraction in ad pages, raking in 203 pages for the first quarter. The Condé Nast-owned titles do not discount their page rates to advertisers, a stance that in the short term could deter some advertisers (Condé Nast also owns WWD).
At Hearst Magazines, Town & Country has seen a 30 percent decline in the quarter: The magazine carried 247 pages for the first three issues of the year. Harper’s Bazaar carried 396 pages, a 21 percent decrease compared to 2008, while Cosmopolitan’s 305 pages are 48 pages, or 14 percent, below last year’s total. O, The Oprah Magazine reported a 20 percent slide in pages, to 305. Marie Claire is off 16 percent, totaling 214 ad pages. Meanwhile, Elle dropped 26 percent, gathering 435 pages through March. In Style, whose publisher, Lynette Harrison Brubaker, is leaving the Time Inc. title, reported a 29 percent drop in paging, to 436.
The health magazines continue to manage the ad slide better than their fashion counterparts, but have still suffered during the downturn. Shape is reporting an 8 percent decline in paging, to 312, while Self lost 50 pages, or 18 percent, during the quarter, reporting 234 ad pages through March. Women’s Health declined by 28 pages, or 19 percent, to 115. Fitness was the only magazine that reported a page increase, but that’s because the Meredith Corp. title added an issue this year. That bumped its total to 201 pages, or 30 percent more than in the first quarter 2008. Essence also fared better than its peers, recording a 6 percent decline in paging compared to last year, to a total of 266.
— Stephanie D. Smith
LIGHTING A FIRE: A few years ago, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Calif.) wrote letters to the editors of fashion magazines to discourage them from running Camel No. 9 ads, which allegedly were targeting young women and enticing them to smoke. Capps’ campaign against Camel No. 9 contributed to R.J. Reynolds’ decision to issue a moratorium on advertising the cigarette brand in print magazines in 2008.
On Friday, Capps and 25 of her colleagues began a new fight against tobacco advertising, but this time the target is Philip Morris’ new marketing campaign for Virginia Slims cigarettes, called Superslims Lights and Superslims Lights Menthol. In a letter that was mailed to the publishers of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, In Style, Interview, Lucky, Marie Claire, Us Weekly and W, members of Congress said the Virginia Slims cigarettes have pink packaging, which comes across as “cute and feminine.” “Their name and appearance play on our society’s value of and pressure for women to be slim.” Capps added, “We hope the publishers of these magazines will realize the hypocrisy of running ads encouraging a lethal habit juxtaposed with fashion tips and important health advice. According to the articles in their own magazines, they know full well that smoking is an addictive and ultimately deadly habit.” Capps and her colleagues are asking the titles to adopt an institutional policy of rejecting cigarette advertising aimed at young women. The publishers had not received the letters Friday and could not comment.