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Memo Pad: GQ Giving Back... Idov's Art Imitates Life...

GQ's Gentleman's Fund recognizes charitable celebrities.

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Josh Duhamel who is the ambassador for the Pat Tillman Foundation

Josh Duhamel, who is the ambassador for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Photo By Kevin Lynch

MEN GIVING BACK: While charity-based events are a hallmark of women’s magazines, few men’s titles champion giving back as part of their brand missions. But GQ this fall rolled out its third iteration of The Gentleman’s Fund, which is on track to raise $2.5 million for various charities. The fund partners with several nonprofits each year and recognizes celebrity ambassadors who participate with each cause. This year’s charitable celebs include Ashton Kutcher, who is working with UNICEF; Adrian Grenier and OCEANA; Josh Duhamel, who is the ambassador for the Pat Tillman Foundation, and Mark Wahlberg, who is participating with his own foundation for the second year running. The program also will honor one notable everyday guy, chosen by GQ readers, who’s making a difference as part of its “Better Man, Better World” search. “The important part of being a gentleman is social activism,” said GQ publisher Pete Hunsinger. “As much as you want a good suit, you want to help others.”

Aside from charity, the program has helped GQ create a marketing platform that extends its story line beyond fashion and deepens relationships with advertisers, especially as cause marketing is one of the few growing segments of advertising. According to research firm IEG, cause-based marketing will increase 2 percent this year, to $1.55 billion. Gillette, for example, found the GQ program’s combination of style and substance intriguing. “You see a fair amount of sports and macho guys promotions, but I think this one sets a bar for men to step out and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to give back,’” said Damon Jones, the brand’s global communications director. The Gentleman’s Fund also helped drive an exclusive partnership between HP and GQ, with the tech brand creating a six-page exclusive insert in the magazine in which Kutcher will design a custom magazine using HP software and technology. Additional program sponsors include Nautica and Ketel One vodka, who is new to the fold this year. — Stephanie D. Smith

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