Memo Pad: All That Matters Is Rupert Likes Her... On Screen...

When Rupert Murdoch named 27-year-old Natalie Bancroft to the News Corp. board to represent the family that had sold him Dow Jones...

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"If I have any role in what I do in fashion, it's to make women feel more confident," she continues. "To be confident makes you beautiful, makes you happy, makes you fulfilled. That's why I am a card member."

Von Furstenberg joins a list of designers who've done ads for the company in the past, including Bill Blass, Carolina Herrera and Paloma Picasso for TV, and Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole in print. The new campaign will be accompanied by an Annie Leibovitz-shot print campaign.

The president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America said she agreed to do the ads for several reasons. She's used the card for decades, she told WWD, and "their target is the independent woman...very much what DVF women are."

American Express also recently made a donation of $500,000 to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and she has plenty of personal memories in which the card played a role. "[In 1980,] I went to Australia on my own with the idea of buying a ranch," she recalled. "I remember feeling so free and empowered as I was driving Highway 1 all by myself with my American Express card in the back pocket of my jeans. So for me, American Express is a symbol of my freedom." (She didn't buy the ranch.)

Diego Scotti, American Express' vice president of global advertising, said the credit card company always seeks people "iconic and representative of the virtues and values aligned with the brand. [Von Furstenberg] inspired women to lead independent lives." — Marc Karimzadeh

YELL IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS: Over the last few reporting periods, American Media Inc. has tended to quietly file its financial results with the Securities and Exchange Commission with no warning or fanfare — say, on a Friday before a three-day weekend. Not this time round. AMI sent out a press release trumpeting its latest financials, and it's easy to see why. The net loss for the third quarter, ending Dec. 31, shrank substantially to $14 million, compared with $306.9 million one year ago. Operating income also shifted dramatically, from a loss of $302 million last year to a profit $17 million for the third quarter. Those big changes to the balance sheet were in part due to increases in revenue, to $115 million from $107 million; lower exceptional charges, and cost reductions, from the implementation of AMI's management action plan. Revenue growth was driven by advertising and circulation gains from Shape, Star and Men's Fitness, "each of which is experiencing a record advertising year," said chief executive officer David Pecker. — Amy Wicks
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