Beauty Bitch Festively Eavesdrops

Mimi ON Nov 21, 2008 AT 6:09 pm

Jo Malone

Jo Malone

The Wolseley restaurant in Piccadilly is a favourite PR haunt, especially for the celeb-spotting potential, impressive food and of course, the close together tables that mean if conversation dries up, there is absolutely no problem listening in to next-door’s chatter.

And, because it’s Christmas, of course the hot topic of conversation is presents. So, what a gift indeed to be seated behind the editor of a well known women’s magazine while she was in full flow on the subject of her Christmas expectations from the Fashion and Beauty PRs.

According to her, FAB editors fall into two camps – givers and keepers – when it comes the wealth of press gifts that will have a regular stream of couriers arriving at a magazine’s door. Despite the fact that what keeps the fashion and beauty pages interesting and exciting is the work put in by the poorly paid beauty assistants and freelancers who trek to launches, make the call-ins, write the copy and direct the photo-shoots, our editor feels they aren’t entitled to any gifts. Her reasoning is that it’s her magazine, and ultimately her decision what brands get any coverage.

Therefore all gifts should rightfully go to her. Nice, no? And, she didn’t stop there. She has to go to all the boring marketing meetings, have tedious lunches with big paying advertisers and make huge editorial decisions. All part of an editor’s well salaried job, surely? But no, these tedious excursions and career demands that keep her magazine wealthy enough to stay published, are justification for being a Christmas ‘keeper’. Interestingly, though, she thought of herself as a ‘giver’, because “if there’s something really naff, I pass it on”. Bah, humbug.

Corporate gifting at Christmas is industry standard, and it’s lovely to get any kind of thank you. While one well known editor doesn’t accept gifts; a few others divvy up amongst their staff, they remain in the minority. The editor of a popular weekly glossy is apparently a notorious ‘keeper’. Just how many handbags and free Botox can any one editor need? Knowing this, it’s about time that the PR’s recognise who should be properly thanked, and pointedly address their gifts to the people that actually deserve them. After all, this year’s assistant may well be next year’s ed

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