In The News: Citigroup Corporate Gifts Cause Stir, Gaultier Dirties Parisian Runway

By Michael O'Connell March 11, 2009, 10:46 AM EDT

Citigroup Offers Gift In Lieu of Incentive Trip: After canceling its annual destination retreat, Citigroup doled out $3.5 million in gift cards to the top 2,000 brokers at its Smith Barney unit. The bailout recipient has taken flack from some of the media but maintains that the cost is a minor expense compared to the annual revenue generated by the brokers and that the firm needs to hold onto valued employees in the competitive market. [NY Post]

Prada Follows Chanel’s Lead:
Plans have been finalized for Prada’s pyramidal mobile pavilion, the Prada Transformer, which will debut in Seoul, Korea, this April. The structure will host art exhibitions, film screenings, and live events. Cranes will occasionally flip the Transformer—when it’s empty, we assume—to reconfigure the shape and visitors’ experiences at the different programs. There aren’t any plans to move the structure after its five-month stay in Seoul, unlike Chanel’s eighty-sixed touring pavilion. [Dezeen]

Carnival Launches Interactive Aquarium: Carnival Cruise Lines is taking advantage of the surplus of empty storefronts in major U.S. cities. The company launched a marketing campaign featuring interactive, computer-animated aquariums in empty storefronts in six different cities this week. Carnival hopes passersby will stop long enough to take out their cellular phones and create animated fish for the aquarium—while presumably considering a cruise to the islands. The pop-ups last through April in Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington. [BrandFreak]

Jean Paul Gaultier Gets Dirty on the Runway: Theatrics have been in no short supply at Paris Fashion Week. Jean Paul Gaultier finished off his nightclub-themed show this week with a staged mud-wrestling brawl between two models. [WWD]

Jay Leno Offers Comic Relief With Free Show: Reigning Tonight Show host Jay Leno announced on Monday’s show that he’d be stopping by the downtrodden city of Detroit for a free performance for the unemployed. The Detroit Pistons offered up their venue, the Palace of Auburn Hills, to the comedian for no charge, and refreshments and parking also will be free. All attendees need to get into “Jay’s Comedy Stimulus Plan” is a photo I.D. and no job. [AP]

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