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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Townsend’

Anna Wintour Is Condé Nast’s First ‘Artistic Director’

Over the past few months we’ve published a couple of posts indicating that publishing giant Condé Nast is adopting a new approach to PR and communications. Today we bring you more evidence of that fact via our sister site FishbowlNY: after parting ways with publicist Maurie Perl and shaking up its internal communications team, Condé Nast just named longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour as its new “artistic director”–a role created just for her. Company CEO Charles Townsend explains:

The establishment of an artistic director is a reflection of our commitment to preserve and champion all that exists ‘Only at Condé Nast.’ In today’s business environment, it is critical to promote and foster our established creative authority. This is the ideal time to leverage Anna’s extraordinary vision and leadership to amplify and elevate the profile of Condé Nast U.S. both domestically and abroad. Anna is an icon in the worlds of fashion, business and the arts, she has the foresight and wisdom to influence the major trends of our society and is respected globally as an accomplished businesswoman.

So she’s going to use her famous name and face to promote the brand and its products via the power of association? Sounds a lot like a celebrity spokesperson to us. Apologies to Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Will.I.Am., Alicia Keys, etc.: this whole “big-name creative director” trend may be much simpler than we thought.

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Condé Nast Gets PR Help

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It’s been a rough fall for Condé Nast. The media powerhouse shuttered several titles, laid off hundreds of employees and reported sharp decline in ad revenue.

Now, the company is getting PR help. CEO Charles Townsend and Chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr. have hired crisis manager and media coach Michael Sheehan. The executives were reluctant to make the hire, but did so after Lucky publisher Gina Sanders urged them to, reports the Post‘s Keith Kelly. Sanders is married to Condé “heir apparent” Steven Newhouse and worked with Sheehan when she was at Teen Vogue.

Sheehan has experience in politics and finance having counseled Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, AIG during last year’s crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and JP Morgan. He has also served as speech coach at every Democratic convention since 1988.