GQ GENTS AND REAL LIFE NATIVE ADS: GQ hosted The Gentleman’s Fund Awards at “The Gent,” a two-room space that it rents in New York’s West Village. The Condé Nast title opened the space in April, according to vice president and publisher Howard Mittman, who projected revenue from The Gent to hit $11 million through the year.
“I had the opportunity to open an invitation-only club here in New York City, which allows us to create an environment that attracts high net worth men who are interested in interacting with GQ and the select brand partners we invite in the space,” Mittman said.
“We’re in a live native ad,” the publisher joked, before explaining that GQ has thrown about five to six events a month for advertisers, including Tiffany, Mr Porter, Dunhill and Movado, which sponsored The Gentleman’s Fund on Thursday.
Mittman noted that the membership model helps “maintain a sense of exclusivity” to guests, while mixing “content and commerce” in a retail environment. Like its rivals, GQ has slowly been pushing their business model toward live events, sponsorships and digital advertising, in the face of print advertising declines.
GQ could not estimate how much revenue it reaps from events, but said it extracts about 25 percent of ad revenue from digital. The Association of Magazine Media no longer releases print ad page tallies, although WWD has learned that GQ has logged 655.31 pages for the period of January through September of this year, marking a 17.6 percent decline or a 140.1-page slide in ad pages from the same period a year earlier.
Cannon, who emceed the event, would later honor men who are “making a difference.”
The entertainer offered: “I like to think it’s important to give back and I like to have that resonate with the experience, so whether it’s lupus, kidney disease, homelessness or financial literacy — those are all causes that I’ve personally experienced and are organic to who I am, so they fit — same thing for the leaders and ambassadors you will meet here tonight.”
Those ambassadors, which included actor Ruffalo and New York Giants wide receiver Cruz, would receive awards for their charity work.
Cruz, who sported a black pin-striped suit and matching tie, thanked GQ for honoring his foundation’s educational work and the “opportunity to wear this many stripes on the stage.”
Ruffalo, who spoke about water conservation, closed out the night.
“I’m one of the shortest people here,” said the actor, while adjusting the microphone that was nearly a foot higher, “and I’m proud of it.”