DE BEERS DOUBLES UP: De Beers has more than doubled its U.S. consumer marketing budget for the Christmas period in response to the credit crunch. David Lamb, chief strategic officer of Forevermark, the recently-launched De Beers diamond brand, told WWD the company made the decision based on new research showing diamond jewelry will be the number-one gift for the holidays in 2008, and that the majority of women prefer to receive one gift with enduring value, rather than several smaller ones. The campaign will break during Thanksgiving weekend with an “emotional” TV ad, Lamb said, and 128 full-page ads in national and local newspapers such as The New York Times, and magazines including Forbes, Business Week, Fortune and Time. The print ads will feature shots of the company’s leading products, such as diamond studs, and solitaire and three-stone rings, and will be more conversational and philosophical than in the past. Lamb said he believes diamond consumption will continue to thrive as consumers take stock of their priorities — and their belongings. “I don’t think anyone has ever sent diamonds off to Manhattan Mini-Storage,” he said.
— Samantha Conti