Princess Diana: Who Is Going to Market Her?

Perhaps Leigh Steinberg, Marvin Josephson or Even David Ogilvy

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Okay now, once the divorce is final, just who gets a piece of Princess Di?

Commercially, I mean.

I suppose talent representation comes first. If Michael Ovitz were still an agent and not helping Mr. Eisner run Disney, he'd probably by this time have a suite at the Connaught Hotel and be laying siege to the Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace. With Ovitz out of the picture, how about Leigh Steinberg, the guy who reps half the quarterbacks in the NFL? Or Marvin Josephson of ICM? Marvin got General Schwarzkopf five million for a lousy book. I mean, anyone can defeat the Republican Guard and win a war.

We're talking Diana of Wales!

Over on Madison Avenue they're taking meetings. I'm told consideration is being given at Ogilvy & Mather to prying David Ogilvy out of his chateaued leisure in France and getting him to work his Scottish wiles on Herself.

Jerry Della Femina is said to be planning a party in the Hamptons to catch her eye. And mayn't the Saatchi boys consider this their golden opportunity to get back to advertising's top table?

The question of just what products Diana might endorse is of course crucial. We can't have her doing deodorants. Royals don't sweat, y'know. Nor ought she be seen hanging out at Burger King or buying bathroom tissue. Royals don't .*.*. oh, never mind. Lancome and Lauder are surely vying for her scented favor. And as far as the fashion designers are concerned, why, they're already flailing away at one another with beaded purses.

Charles may not want Diana anymore. But he's just about the only one.

How about the telly? Could Roger Ailes woo the Princess with her own talk show over Murdochian channels? Will Kathie Lee finally abandon Reeg and open the door for Diana? Sure, Connie & Dan didn't play all that well on CBS. What about Diana and Dan?

She'll be writing her book, of course. Anthea Disney got the inside track there? Or Harry Evans? Michael Korda? You know how those Brits hang together.

Diana might well choose the entrepreneurial route. Start up a series of royal warrants all her own promoting class merch and owing nothing to Buckingham Palace. You know, "Purveyor of riding crops to Princess Di." Or, "Jodhpur suppliers to Her Wales-ship." Or, "Vintner to Her Highness."

The options are staggering.

How about a Princess Di restaurant chain starting right there on 57th Street in Manhattan competing with the Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood?

There's ample precedent, of course. The Duke & Duchess of Windsor in the end had so many deals going that when I was running WWD we christened them, in print, as "Commerce & Industry." They rented out by the hour or the week to corporate entities or just plain rich social climbers.

I've written before about a dinner with the Windsors at Estee and Joe Lauder's wonderful townhouse in Manhattan, a black-tie affair at which the Duke revealed himself an empty suit with no small talk at all beyond golf. But the Duchess, no longer in her first youth, was still, with those big eyes, droll and flirtatious in that way Baltimore belles have.

When the evening ended we made our way out, strolling violins accompanying us, and as we bade farewell, the musicians began the nostalgic, "Those Were the Days...." and as if on cue, the Duke & Duchess fell into the other's arms and they slow-danced a few steps around the marbled foyer. Even the cynical among us broke into applause.

It was so corny. And so right.

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