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De Beers Cuts Marketing Budget, Concentrating on male Consumer

De Beers is refocusing its efforts to concentrate on the male consumer

De Beers is cutting its U.S. marketing budget, forcing the layoff of 11 employees working on the Diamond Trading Co. (DTC) account at advertising firm JWT, National Jeweler reports.

Sally Morrison of the Diamond Information Center confirmed to National Jeweler that the cutbacks are related to the perception that the United States is headed into a recession, and that 2008 is expected to be a tough year for everyone.

As a result, De Beers is refocusing its efforts to concentrate on the male consumer; the company's "beacon" products, such as Journey diamond jewelry and three-stone rings, won't include anymore female-targeted advertising.

Morrison confirmed that the loss of advertising would be counteracted by more public relations, and that those employees impacted were not senior level.

The news is the latest in a string of bad news for the jewelry industry as a whole, as De Beers always has been known for its robust advertising campaigns.

U.S. holiday sales for the majority of jewelry retailers, including the usually bulletproof Tiffany and Co., were down in 2007, and two chain retailers recently entered into bankruptcy.