Even for the famously oversubscribed Martha Stewart, this has turned out to be a crazy busy week.
The homemaking honcho blew up Twitter over the last couple of days after she tweeted to her 3.16 million followers, from a Daily Mail dinner at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, that she had no clue who her table mate, self-described “well-known” Kardashian friend and publicist Jonathan Cheban, was. The unintended (?) diss was quickly picked up by CBS, AOL, Mashable, Jezebel, Refinery29 and a lot of other sites, while Time’s Cady Lang, in a piece headlined “We Should All Aspire to Tweet Like Martha Stewart,” dubbed her “the queen of shade.”
This, a few days after Martha announced her new venture with Marley Spoon, a food-kit delivery service that sends consumers fresh ingredients and recipes from Stewart’s collection of thousands of recipes for preparing the week’s meals. This was also the week she cheerfully flouted the “no pictures” rule at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in New York.
Her power as a social influencer and her ongoing business partnerships serve as a potent réfutation of the haters who’ve declared her over and done with like breakfast scraps (as this writer did in Adweek a few years back—literally bringing out the knives). But like those Terminator movies that keep coming and coming, Martha, it would appear, is back with a vengeance.
Martha found herself back on the Daily Mail yacht this morning for an invitation-only brunch for about 30 people (including yours truly) and a talk with Anne Shooter, U.K. commercial editor for the Mail.
The lifestyle legend put a convincing enough spin on Sequential Brands’ $353 million acquisition a year ago of the company she founded, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. That transaction gave her a stake in Sequential, which also owns brands by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Simpson. (It’s a far cry from the nearly $2 billion Stewart’s company was valued at after going public in the ’90s, which made her an overnight billionaire.) But the Sequential deal, she claimed, “has taken the pressure off me and enabled me to own part of 20 or so other companies [owned by Sequential].” Noting she is working with younger executives at her new parent company, she said, “It’s a breath of fresh air—and I’m richer!”
This morning, she also slammed the presidential run of her old nemesis, Donald Trump. (Martha, you will recall, did a short-lived Apprentice spinoff on NBC after her release from prison a few years back—almost immediately butting heads with franchise founder Trump.) Talking about the originally intended purpose of the internet as a means for making life more efficient and breaking down borders as opposed to Trump’s idea of “building walls,” Stewart complained that it has become more of a “time waster” among bored youths.
Daily Mail, the U.K. paper whose U.S. website has enjoyed explosive growth, was most definitely a winner of this year’s Lions, with two yachts and its own massive stage on the jetée behind the Palais, the beachside convention center here. (As if that weren’t enough, it erected a massive, spinning “M” high above its outpost.) Among Mail-sponsored activities this week: nightly parties on the waterfront; Martin Sorrell interviewing Mail editor at large Piers Morgan; a panel with reality stars featuring social media sensation “The Fat Jewish”; and the paper’s annual Seriously Popular Party, with Jason Derulo performing and celebs like Mindy Kaling, Amber Rose and Blac Chyna popping by.
One can only wonder how poor Rupert Murdoch—who owns the competing Times and Sun in the U.K.—must feel this week, with his not-unimpressive Wall Street Journal yacht docked right alongside the Mail’s much more blingy digs, not to mention his unobstructed view of that enormous, illuminated “M” in the sky.