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In the News: Hollywood Wants Junkets Back, Economy Doesn't Slow Product Launches

Hollywood Wants Junkets Back: Surprising fact: An estimated 90 percent of film junkets take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, with most of the remaining 10 percent falling elsewhere in Beverly Hills. The developers of the new W Hotel in Hollywood are hoping to bring some of that business back to film's birthplace, when they open at the iconic crossroads of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, which is in charge of overseeing Hollywood's redevelopment, is looking at more than a dozen proposals for venues that could also woo junket planners. [NYT]

Fashion Cuts Back on Charity Events: Flagging profits for fashion houses mean charity endeavors and sponsorships are falling under question. Liz Claiborne Inc. and Tommy Hilfiger, in particular, have reportedly reduced their budgets for charity events. This means participation in larger-scale events, like New York's Costume Institute Gala, which may have to reduce table prices this year to fill seats. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Museum of Art doesn't anticipate matching last year's record-breaking $7.3 million haul. [WWD]

Showtime Teams Up With Gourmet and Macy's: After last year's experiential marketing at the Showtime/Metropolitan Home show house, the cable network is partnering with another magazine—and a department store—to launch the new season of period drama The Tudors. Gourmet will host a party at its Times Square headquarters next week, with table settings reminiscent of Tudor England serving as the central decor. The tables also found their way into a four-page print element in the April issue of the magazine and are on display at six Macy's flagship stores throughout the country, including New York's Herald Square. [MediaWeek]

Product Launches Abound in Recession: Spending more money might seem like a bad idea in a sour economy, but advertisers insist it's the most opportune time to promote consumer products—especially new ones. Global corporations Campbell Soup, General Mills, Mars, and Unilever have all used 2009 as a platform to unveil new products with elaborate ad campaigns and experiential and stunt marketing. The marketing director for fabric care at Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Spray 'n Wash, opened up about its recent product launch, acknowledging the company latched onto an idea it thought would resonate in the economy. [NYT]

America's Bid for 2016 Olympics Gets Serious: Chicago 2016, the group hoping to win bragging rights for the 2016 Winter Olympics, is preparing the lakefront city for a visit next week from the International Olympic Committee. Chicago's bid committee revealed details of the visit yesterday, explaining that the team of 16 evaluators will be treated to a host of private meetings, parties at local venues, and tours of the proposed sites for the Olympic Village and Olympic Stadium. [Tribune]


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