N.Y. TIMES REFUSES KARAN AD
Byline: Janet Ozzard
NEW YORK — Donna Karan has unwittingly joined the racy ranks of Calvin Klein and Benetton.
One of her new beauty ads, which features a back view of a nude Carre Otis, including most of her bottom, has been refused by the New York Times Magazine.
The ad was to have been a packaged insert with a scent strip in the April 14 edition of the magazine.
As reported, Karan quadrupled her beauty budget this year to $10 million. The ads were created by the designer’s in-house agency and shot by Herb Ritts.
The campaign for fragrance and bath and body products is still scheduled for such magazines as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Vanity Fair, Allure and Cosmopolitan, Martha Stewart Living, Glamour, New Woman, Essence and In Style.
Trey Laird, vice president and director of creative services and advertising at Donna Karan, said he’s had no complaints from other publications. This is the first time that a Donna Karan ad has been refused, he said.
“It’s truly bizarre,” said Patti Cohen, senior vice president of advertising and public relations at the designer’s offices here, pointing out that the ad has already run in The New Yorker.
“We were inspired by the bottle design, and by classical paintings of bathers,” said Laird. “It’s not like we set out to do something controversial.”
Agency executives were troubled by the move.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Sam Shahid, owner of Shahid & Co., an ad firm here. “That’s a beautiful photograph of a beautiful woman. Donna would never do something that’s offensive to women. The New York Times is far more conservative than people realize.”
“They’re afraid they’ll get one letter from a little old lady who has nothing better to do,” said Ellis Verdi, principal of DeVito/Verdi.
Calls to executives at the Times were not returned. A spokeswoman declined comment.