J.Lo has fur-reaching clout
Billboard killed an ad after pressure from the star's record company, says PETA.
Just how powerful is Jennifer Lopez anyway?
That's what folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were asking yesterday after the fur-loving actress, singer and fashion mogul - using the clout of her publicist and record label - apparently got Billboard magazine to kill PETA's full-page anti-J.Lo ad.
The graphic ad - initially accepted by Billboard to run in yesterday's edition, PETA says - features a grisly photo of a skinned animal over an open letter to Lopez, whose new Sweetface clothing line is replete with real fur.
The letter slaps Lopez for ignoring "our repeated appeals to you, calling attention to the fact that rabbits, minks, foxes and chinchillas are gassed, strangled, beaten, electrocuted, trapped and drowned to pack your closet and your clothing line full of fur."
Yesterday, PETA Vice President Lisa Lange - who'd been trying to meet with Lopez to discuss PETA's concerns in private - told me she suspects Billboard "caved" to pressure from Sony Corp.'s Epic Records, which recently released J.Lo's "Rebirth," and power publicist Nanci Ryder of Baker-Winokur-Ryder.
Billboard officials declined to comment on their cancellation of the $5,000 ad, and a spokeswoman for Epic, a Billboard advertiser, didn't return my calls.
But Ryder acknowledged she played a key role. "I'm doing my job, which is protecting my client," Ryder told me.
Lange said Billboard canceled the ad last Thursday, a day after she assured Ryder that PETA would hold off if a meeting could be scheduled before the April 28 L.A. premiere of Lopez's movie "Monster-in-Law."
Yesterday, Ryder said a meeting between PETA and her client would have been ill-advised.
"In my opinion, there would be nothing worse than a meeting, unless in the meeting we could commit to not wearing fur and not using fur in fashion. Unless we could do that, I didn't quite understand where the meeting would go."
Now PETA is declaring full-scale war on Ryder's client. Last night, the animal-rights activists E-mailed the ad to hundreds of radio stations around the country while planning a huge protest for the "Monster-in-Law" premiere.
Meanwhile, Lange gloated at the declining sales of J.Lo's latest record, attributing the slide to Lopez's insistence on using fur: "'Rebirth' is stillborn."