LUXURY TIMES: Bernard Arnault is nothing if not tenacious. On Thursday, the chairman of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reiterated his intention to acquire French financial daily Les Echos from Britain’s Pearson Group plc. It came as Fimalac, a French financial services firm, submitted a 245 million euro counter bid ($337.8 million at current exchange) to LVMH’s 240 million euro bid ($331 million). LVMH has been facing mounting opposition in the press over its editorial ambitions, but in a statement, the company said it continued exclusive discussions with Pearson and countered charges it would impede editorial independence and cut jobs. LVMH already owns five publications, including rival financial daily La Tribune, and employs some 300 journalists. — Miles Socha

PICTURE STORIES: On the heels of Aeffe’s IPO news, the company is rolling out ad campaigns for two of its key divisions, one with its regular photographer, Steven Meisel, the other using Peter Lindbergh for the second season in a row.

This story first appeared in the July 13, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Alberta Ferretti‘s fall-winter print ads will spotlight Julia Stegner and Adina Fohlin, photographed by Meisel.

For Moschino, a group of unknown models were pulled together for this fall’s Moschino ads, with lensman Lindbergh.

For the Ferretti campaign, the designer wanted to convey a sense of dualism by photographing the leggy brunettes as a twosome posing in and around a modernistic house in Los Angeles. “When I started to think about the fall-winter advertising campaign, I had in mind the idea of ‘the double,”’ Ferretti said. “My idea was to reflect the reality of contemporary life, in which women use the game of duality to better assert their complex personality.”

This marks the first time in 11 years the designer has tapped Meisel to shoot her ads, which will run in the August editions of Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, In Style and Elle.

For Moschino, Lindbergh’s work is reminiscent of what he did in the Nineties. The new ads feature all fresh faces who have yet to make their mark in the modeling world. There are ads with different combinations of 28 women wearing Moschino and Cheap and Chic. Patti Wilson styled the campaign, Odile Gilbert was the hairstylist and Ellis Faas handled makeup. The Moschino campaign will also launch in the August issues of national publications. Executives at Aeffe declined to comment on either campaign’s media buy. — Rosemary Feitelberg

BUT WHO’S COUNTING? Up until Kanye West’s arrival, it would have been easy to characterize the crowd atop the Gramercy Park Hotel Wednesday, gathered to celebrate editor in chief Jim Nelson‘s decade at GQ, as more casual and less lacquered than that rooftop commonly sees. After all, assistants and fact-checkers were mingling with, or at least near, the top of the masthead — Nelson and publisher Peter King Hunsinger, among others — and excepting the likes of designers Thom Browne and Italo Zucchelli, the prevailing dress was distinctly rumpled. But there was West, who performed at a GQ party in Milan two years ago, and who, as crowd chatter had it, was angling for a cover.

For those keeping track of Nelson’s succession of Art Cooper in 2003, that’s 10 years at the magazine, not 10 years as editor in chief. That technicality drew some snark from a few party poopers. A spokesman for the magazine insisted that GQ had “consciously and seriously played down” the party, which had no photographer in attendance. (Not counting Terry Richardson and Mark Seliger, who were strictly off-duty.) Two reporters were invited, but assured coverage was not the goal. “This was definitely done so as not to conflict with or confuse anyone about the focus we have in 2007 on [GQ’s] 50th anniversary,” the spokesman said. Festivities for that occasion kicked off in Milan, with more expected in the fall. — Irin Carmon

PRESCRIPTION FILLED: Magazines saw an increase in ad spending for the first half of 2007, thanks to the drugs and remedies category, which scored double-digit revenue and page growth, at 17 and 11 percent, respectively. In fact, during the first half of 2007, magazines saw in increase in spending in eight major advertising categories, including drugs and remedies; toiletries and cosmetics; food and food products; apparel and accessories; direct response; media and advertising; retail, and public transportation, hotels and resorts. But not all categories fared as well — home furnishings and supplies proved to be the biggest loser in ad pages, down more than 14 percent for the first half.

According to the Publishers Information Bureau, total magazine rate-card reported ad revenue for the first half of this year rose 6 percent, compared with the same six-month period a year ago. Meanwhile, ad pages, which came in at 114,659, were down only 0.5 percent compared with the first half of 2006. — Amy Wicks

NEW HIRE: Vibe Media Group has appointed Steve Aaron chief executive officer, succeeding Eric Gertler, who left Vibe after less than a year to start a digital content company. Aaron comes to Vibe from Future US, home to the Official Xbox Magazine and Revolver, “The world’s leading rock magazine.” Prior to Future, Aaron was the senior vice president group publisher at American Media and also spent 12 years at Hachette Filipacchi Media.

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