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FACE VALUE: French Elle is getting plenty of buzz with this week’s issue, which features Monica Bellucci on the cover in a white Christian Dior cashmere sweater, but not a lick of makeup on her face — and no retouching. Editor in chief Isabelle Maury credited photographer Peter Lindbergh for being able to convince Bellucci and seven other famous women of a more mature ilk to pose under those conditions. They include Sophie Marceau, Ines de la Fressange, Eva Herzigova and Charlotte Rampling. Maury insisted some stars, including Marceau, actually prefer when photos are not touched up. In order to keep the photo-shoot ritual to which stars are accustomed, Lindbergh had their hair and makeup done, but all the makeup was then removed with a lotion. In the magazine, Lindbergh explains the lotion captures the light and gives the face its life. The feature, titled “Stars Without Makeup,” includes 11 black-and-white photos spread over 16 pages. — Chantal Goupil
IF MORE PROOF WERE NEEDED: During the first quarter, magazine advertising revenue fell 20.2 percent, to an estimated $4.2 billion, while pages were down 26 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Across the top 12 magazine ad categories, it will come as no surprise automotive represented the biggest decline, down nearly 44 percent to an estimated $199.6 million spent. In addition, retail dropped 29.3 percent to an estimated $298 million, apparel and accessories fell 20.5 percent to an estimated $360.8 million and toiletries and cosmetics decreased 3.3 percent to an estimated $437.6 million. PIB reported that some sectors within larger ad categories saw an uptick in spending, including clothing accessories (in apparel and accessories), shopping centers and discount department and variety stores (in retail) and personal-hygiene and health products (in toiletries and cosmetics).
And the outlook certainly doesn’t appear any better for the remainder of the year. On Tuesday, ZenithOptimedia once again revised its forecast for global advertising, and now the agency is predicting global ad expenditures to shrink by 6.9 percent over the course of the year and by 8.7 percent in the United States alone. “Many are treating advertising as a discretionary expense, and one they find convenient to cut,” said analysts at ZenithOptimedia. “Ad expenditure correlates strongly with corporate profits, and the ad market is unlikely to start its recovery until profits start to pick up again.”
The only sector that ZenithOptimedia expects to improve this year? The Internet, which is expected to grow by 8.6 percent in spending, thanks to search advertising.
— Amy Wicks