Mikhail Gorbachev: Top Model for Louis Vuitton


Gorbachev_Louis Vuitton.jpg

 Mikhail Gorbachev and his pet Louie.

Former leader of the former Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, knows the power of a hot handbag.  He appeared in a recent advertisement for Louis Vuitton, seated next to a Louis Vuitton bag in a limo.

The ad has caused drama, because of a Russian magazine poking out of the open bag.  The headline of the magazine (when tranlated from Russian to English) says, "The Murder of Litvinenko: They Wanted to Give Up the Suspect for $7,000." 

Litvinenko is Alexander V. Litvinenko, the former KGB spy who died last Novermber after being poisoned with a radioactive material.  On his deathbed, Litvinenko said that President Vladimir V. Putin was behind his poisoning.  British officials later charged Andrei K. Lugovoi, an associate of Putin, with the crime. 

So the drama is all about whether the magazine was placed in the ad on purpose, and if so, what does it mean? Louis Vuitton, its ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, and a representative for Gorbachev all deny that the magazine placement was intentional or designed to send a message. 

Not everyone is buying their story though.  As one observer told the New York Times, "In an industry where sesame seeds are hand-placed on a hamburger bun by food technicians before a shot, one would reasonably assume that this was not something that happened by chance.  Ads like these get art-directed to the very millimeter and airbrushed so that the advertiser gets exactly what they want.”

Come on, Louis Vuitton. We may be polichicks, but we're not dumb broads.



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