POP GOES THE WEASEL: London-based Emap Consumer title Pop is coming out with its fall issue on Thursday. Lindsay Lohan — shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott — is on the cover, and there's a Steven Klein shoot inside with Beth Ditto. The singer is wearing specially-made clothing by Giles Deacon, Louis Vuitton, and Gareth Pugh.
So far, so normal. It's what fashion magazines do every month, publish stories and pictures of celebrities wearing designer clothes. But in the case of Pop and some other titles, those words and images are quickly taking on sacred cow status.
Take, for instance, the contract — on Emap's letterhead — sent to WWD before Pop would allow it to write about the latest issue. The contract stipulates, among other things, that the cover photo must be reproduced in color, at a height no less than 50 mm, and the image must be clearly distinguishable from any surrounding artwork on the page. The magazine, and the title of the issue, must be "in a prominent position" at the end of the article.
And the contract goes on — to a total of 11 bullet points. With regard to any potential story, "at least" two sentences from Pop editor in chief Katie Grand must be included in the accompanying piece; no "derogatory comments" should be made toward Ditto or Pop, and the magazine's title "must be written and included in the heading or sub-heading" of the piece.
"Any breach of this agreement will be subject to a fine of 10,000 pounds [about $20,000], payable to Emap Consumer Media," it stipulates.
While the contract may seem to be a new level of absurdity in public relations' attempts to control the flow of information — even that about a magazine — Mandi Lennard, a longtime London p.r. agent who represents Pop, defended her position. "We have a responsibility to celebrities who [we] feature in Pop that such material is appropriately featured and accurately credited," Lennard said in an e-mail Friday.