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June 29, 2008

Maria Sharapova, behind the scenes with her Designer Collection

Lucire staff/12.14

Complementing our new cover story for today on celebrity endorsements, Maria Sharapova features in videos for her range of cellphone accessories for Sony Ericsson. The Maria Sharapova Designer Collection hits stores worldwide in the third quarter. Below are views from the fashion show in London launching her line, interviews with Miss Sharapova on her inspirations and how daily events shaped them, and designer Lykke Tarsbol discusses the collaboration process with the tennis star and former Wimbledon champion.

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Mamma Mia! movie launches in Greece

Lucire staff/8.42

Today on Lucire: yesterday’s photo call in Athena, Greece for the cast and some of the crew of one of the summer’s most anticipated ?lms, Mamma Mia!. At left, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan take time out to chat—one of the more personal moments during the launch. More at the article page.

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Renault’s better solutions to using petrol

Lucire staff/6.57

We have to admit to being a little sceptical of some hybrids. For example, 2007’s Honda Accord Hybrid managed to get a mileage of 1 mpg better than the four-cylinder petrol model and 2 mpg than the V6, according to Consumer Reports. So when Tesla announced its roadster in 2006, we thought it’d be a shoo-in for the Lucire Car to Be Seen in award in 2007: it was a zero-emission solution that didn’t use petrol at all. 
   Renault has made some headway recently with its research and development. Last year, it announced its Eco² label (eco², if you are to follow Renault’s convention), enabling ‘customers to identify the most environmentally friendly cars’. A few weeks back, it unveiled its the Scénic ZEV H2 prototype, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, emitting only water vapour.
   While some companies have made similar headway on hydrogen—BMW and Honda have prototypes on the road and Honda says it will have a car on the market within the next year—Renault has been pretty serious about its efforts. In Israel, it teamed up with Project Better Place, which aims to build 500,000 electric charging stations for its electric cars.
   The company adds, ‘Earlier this year, Renault also signed a joint-venture with SITA, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, which aims to accelerate the incorporation of end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling into operations. Renault’s manufacturing sites have also kept up their efforts and have now all secured ISO 14001 environmental certi?cation.’
   These videos show the Scénic prototype along with some Eco² models.

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Fiat 500 at the London Eye

Lucire staff/5.21

We’ve had several Fiat 500 videos on file for a while and with the publication of our Car to Be Seen in story online today, it seems to be a good time to share one. The following is from the January launch of the car in London.

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Model suicide in Manhattan’s Financial District

Lucire staff/2.02


Above: Ruslana Korshunova as she appeared in a print advertisement for Vera Wang.

A woman committed suicide on Water Street in New York City’s Financial District yesterday afternoon, and the Murdoch Press’s New York Post is reporting it was Kazakh model Ruslana Korshunova, 20.
   The newspaper claims that Korshunova jumped from her ninth-storey apartment.
   Korshunova had been modelling in Almaty, Kazakhstan before being discovered in an in-flight magazine by a booker from Models One, Debbie Jones, says the newspaper. She was lately represented by IMG in New York and Paris.
   She would have turned 21 on July 2.

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June 27, 2008

Uma Thurman, Arpad Busson engaged

Lucire staff/22.32

People and other sources have reported that Arpad Busson, former fiancé of Elle Macpherson and the father of her two children, is now engaged to actress Uma Thurman.
   The pair met last summer and have managed to keep their romance blossoming despite being based on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
   The marriage will be Busson’s first, and Thurman’s second (she was married to actor Ethan Hawke, with whom she has two children).

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It’s official: you can’t get Botoxed any more

Jack Yan/6.54

Just as Google—the company that parodies its own logo—sent out notices to the media in 2006 on how to use its name, and suffered a small backlash from some quarters, Allergan is trying to protect its Botox trade mark by doing something similar.
   We received a letter from Allergan’s legal associate for the Asia–Paci?c, Nicole Wilson, today, informing us that Botox is a trade mark of her employer and that it should not be used generically to describe other botulinum toxins. This makes some sense because I am not even sure if people know Botox should refer to only the Allergan product.
   The DLE brochure included with her letter details how Aspirin, Thermos and yo-yo became generic terms and includes a how-to guide for using the Botox trade mark.
   Generally, at Lucire we will signal a proper trade mark with capitalization. Hence, we write Formica and, as you see above, Aspirin and Thermos, though yo-yo has crossed the line into everyday English for us. Search around the site or in our print magazines and I am sure you will see Latex.
   We will write Google as well, and to my knowledge, we have always written Botox with a capital.
   We are asked in the letter to put the registered trade mark symbol next to Botox, which I cannot see happening because of our own house style. Basically: if we don’t do it for ourselves, why should we do it for anyone else? It’s simply not part of regular text composition. It would only, therefore, appear in advertorial if it were something we were setting.
   And if we applied the suggested standard in a fashion magazine, we would have to see the symbol at least a dozen times per page when it comes to those pages showcasing products.
   Meanwhile, the brochure gives some interesting examples that I wonder if it will be easy to enforce them in a busy sub-editing or editing situation:

Incorrect usages
She is receiving Botox.
Botox the patient.
(The use of Botox as a verb.)
Botox’s proprietary information … (The use of Botox in the possessive.)

   We patrol the usage of our logo and name, too, telling people about the case it’s meant to be set in, so I can see where Allergan is coming from, but these are going to be tricky.
   The key to publishing is ?nding that af?nity with readers and writing in an accessible tone.
   In the ?rst example, we are meant to say, according to Allergan, ‘She is receiving Botox injections’ or ‘Botox therapy.’ Now we’re aware, we’ll keep an eye out but this is one that I think will slip through every now and then because of common usage.
   The second one will hardly occur in written text, but I have to admit to Googling things—Google says I should say, ‘search with Google’. I think any change to the Googling example has come a bit too late—but we would never talk about Googling in reference to searching in Yahoo! or Windows Live. But I can go along with this: Botox is not a verb, and it was never conceived to be a verb. Allergan has caught this in time, I believe.
   The third one is rather unreasonable, however. To say a word cannot be formed into a possessive goes a little too far. For the second example, since the trade mark was never conceived as a verb, Allergan is right to clamp down. At a stretch, the ?rst one is tolerable and even understandable. But to limit the usage of everyday English rules—that this one noun is so special that it cannot be turned into a possessive? (It also asks that it not be turned into a plural, i.e. no Botoxes.)
   We do not, for example, play the game where, if a company insists that its trade mark be all uppercase, that we follow. There is a house style here, and we would open the ?oodgates if everyone insisted on their own. Even advertisers don’t get greater accommodation: last year, we wrote Audi Allroad Quattro (Audi thinks the model’s name is all lowercase).
   However, what we can de?nitely promise Allergan is that we would never refer to a rival product or anything in the botulinum toxin category that it does not make as Botox—which is the same standard we apply to Lycra, Lurex and similar names that have either fallen, or are in danger of falling, into generic usage. But the third request is plain weird—and, as far as I know, this is the only time someone has said that their trade mark cannot be turned into a possessive.
   We’ll help Allergan, but within reason.

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June 26, 2008

A day at Pukekohe: Audi launches three models

Jack Yan/11.45

Today was a fun day: ?ying to Pukekohe for the launch of three Audis.
   The ?rst was the Audi TTS—the TT with a turbocharged two-litre, replacing the V6 (which I drove last year) in the New Zealand market. I always said that the car could do with this powerplant, which is also in the S3—and the TTS has the lovely ?appy-paddle gearchange. I only managed to see 210 km/h though due to my lack of experience on the Pukekohe track.
   Secondly, the Audi A3 Cabriolet, for the aspiring Laura Holts who can no longer buy a traditional, Karmann-style Volkswagen convertible. The hood is incredibly quiet—I noticed virtually no difference between this and a regular A3 in driving.
   Thirdly, the Audi A3 Sportback 1·4T, in response to the demand for lower-capacity vehicles—but it has more power than the outgoing 1·6 and compares nicely to the two-litre.
   They will be covered in more depth in Lucire, and I will have photos from the 35 mm, but for now, here are some low-res shots via cellphone.

Audi TTS grille 

Audi TTS in orange

Audi A3 Cabriolet rear three-quarter view 

Audi A3 Sportback 1.4T in back 

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