Is Martha Stewart replaceable?
If the doyenne of domesticity stumbles in her effort to clear her name of insider trading and obstruction of justice allegations, there are many follow-up acts waiting in the wings, ready to pick up the rolling pin. The lead contender? Some say it's Nigella Lawson, a beautiful Brit who goes by the moniker Domestic Goddess. She has her own smart show on the U.K.'s Channel 4 called "Nigella Bites" and has written two hip books on cooking. Unlike poised and proper Martha, Nigella has been described as fun-loving, spontaneous and gorgeous. "She takes an almost orgasmic pleasure in food," writes one food critic. She also cleans her own dishes-on the air. How refreshing. Unfortunately, her show is only carried here on the Style network and E! Entertainment. And so far, Nigella has not ventured into bedding, retail-store alliances or magazine ownership. On the other hand, she has been intimately linked with marketing genius Charles Saatchi, late of Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi and although now just a simple modern-art collector, the former adman is still quite well connected with the media world. Lately, Nigella has grabbed headlines of her own. In the latest issue of Tatler, for instance, Kay Saatchi-recently divorced from Charles-accuses Nigella of stealing her husband. Once again, how refreshing, and certainly much sexier than Martha's dry-as-toast stock shenanigans. At the very least Nigella could fill Martha's currently vacant slot on CBS's "The Early Show," where one would expect her to slice through creamy chocolate cake with a butter knife rather than chop at a head of cabbage.
I dream of Jenna
She gives the term "crossover" a very special meaning. Jenna Jameson, porn star, was recently tapped to star in a commercial for Ikea. The news about Jenna broke last week in the New York Post and after Adages got on the case, the marketer backed off. "A concept [featuring Ms. Jameson] was presented, but we rejected it," an Ikea spokesperson said. The furniture maker's ad agency Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami referred calls back to the client. Fed up with the stonewalling, Adages decided to go straight to the horse's mouth and got on the phone with Vivid Video Entertainment, where Jenna is a contract player. A spokeswoman for Vivid said an Ikea commercial shoot was scheduled for July 11. Later, the spokeswoman indicated the job was being "put on hold." She's a great pole dancer, but can she do the ultimate crossover into commercials? Jenna tells Adages that she has been approached by other consumer product advertisers for national ad campaigns. "It makes sense for them to benefit from my celebrity," she says. "The line between adult and mainstream is really becoming blurred." No doubt. Jenna also tells us that Vivid is going to produce a Jenna adult action figure this year. "And this one talks." She refused to disclose what the doll will say when you pull her little string.
Meanwhile, back at the factory
Rumors are circulating that Ford plans to move its Lincoln and Mercury headquarters back to the mother ship in Dearborn, Mich., from Irvine, Calif. Fueling this idle gossip is Ford's spring reorganization, which placed the two brands under Jim O'Connor, now group VP, North American sales, service and marketing. Lincoln was previously under Ford's Premier Automotive Group. A Lincoln spokesman said the chances of a return to Dearborn "are slim to none." The spokesman said the two brands moved West in 1998 to catch new trends in the "hotbed of their luxury-car market."
Contributing: Jean Halliday, Rich Thomaselli and Bill Britt