Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Best of Philly™ Bitch Fight — Philly Mag vs. Philly Style

Philly Style recently had their Best of Style party at the Crystal Tea Room, complete with models covered in silver body paint, portraits of boobies, former Apprentice contestants, sultry CBS3 reporters, pompous radio personalities and the like. (Bet it was awesome.)

Shortly thereafter came word that Philadelphia Magazine and Philadelphia Style Magazine are having themselves a little feud. And it's over their dueling “Best of” issues.

Apparently last year, Philly Mag lawyers sent a letter to the Philly Style folks telling them to stop infringing on their “Best of Philly” trademark.

So this year Philly Style called their awards “Best of Style” and placed “Best of 2006” across their cover so as not to offend.

But it turns out, that wasn't enough. Philly Style recently received another letter from Philly Mag allegedly saying that any use of “best of” causes confusion.

David Lipson, Jr., Philly Mag president, had this to say:
"You be the judge. Every July, 'best of' is blazoned across their cover, a month before ours… . 'Best of Philly' is our most valuable mark. We've already had people calling us, confused."
Then there was the interview with Philly Mag chairman D. Herbert Lipson that appeared in Folio:
"One of the things that drives me crazy are these luxury magazines. I think it's a threat to the way we do business," Lipson is quoted. The mag said Lipson, without naming names, believes such mags lie about their circulation numbers and "prostitute their editorial."
Philly Style president Dana Spain-Smith did not take kindly to the elder Lipson's remarks, which she thinks were directed at her glossy. She is said to be pondering a slander suit.

Meanwhile, Philly Mag is heavily pushing its forthcoming “Best of” issue – they’re even introducing the first ever "Best of Philly Day" on August 3.

And on July 26, you can go “Behind the Scenes of Best of Philly” at the National Constitution Center, where Philly Mag’s Editor-in-Chief Larry Platt wants to show you what’s fun (emphasis added):
“The most frequent question I get from readers concerns how we decide upon Best of Philly entries, since, unlike our imitators, ours is not a readers’ poll — it’s a subjective, authoritative list. So this is a chance to explore our process and tell us where we were wrong and why — after all, disagreeing with Best of Philly is part of the fun of reading it,” says Philadelphia Magazine Editor-in-Chief Larry Platt.
Reading the above quotes definitely makes it seem like Philly Mag is hearing footsteps. But as Philebrity points out, we’re not exactly sure their worries are warranted.

AroundPhilly, on the other hand, is happy to allude away in a feature on Dana Spain-Smith.
But as Style continues to take on a more active role in where to go when the sun comes down, and Dana Spain-Smith continues to inject her tireless enthusiasm, the "Best Of" awards could soon take on a whole new spin.

Or… the “Best of” awards could take on a whole new meaning — one that exemplifies exactly how to over-hype a promotional gimmick and drive it mercilessly into irrelevancy.

Philly Mag: Omigod, they’re totally stealing our shtick. It's too bad for them that kids from Jersey can’t read. [Inky, fifth item]
Philly Style: Whatev. Our great grandpa called and said that he wants his readership back. Oh, and the Main Line sucks. [Inky, fifth item]
Metaphor alert: Dana Spain-Smith stares down a Cobra… [Around Philly]
Best of Philly Style – chain edition [Philebrity]
In a display of unwavering fortitude, Philadelphia Magazine staff to stand behind their Best of Philly selections... at a NCC panel discussion [NCC]

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