Martha Stewart is having a very high-profile week.
The homemaking guru blew up Twitter over the last couple of days after she tweeted to her 3.16 million followers, from a Daily Mail dinner in Cannes, 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 the morning’s 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 and coming, Martha Stewart, it would appear, is back.
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 brief talk afterward with Anne Shooter, U.K. commercial editor for the Mail.
The lifestyle legend put a convincing spin on the $353 million acquisition one year ago of the company she founded, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, by Sequential Brands, in which she has a stake and 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 instant 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 parent company, she said, “It’s a breath of fresh air—and I’m richer!”
This morning, she also lamented the presidential run of her old nemesis, Donald Trump. (Martha, you will recall, did a short-lived Apprentice spinoff on NBC right after her release from prison a few years back—and almost immediately butted 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 giant, spinning “M” high above.) Among the Mail’s activities this week: nightly parties at the Glitter Bar, atop of one of its boats; Martin Sorrell interviewing Mail editor at large Piers Morgan; a panel with reality stars featuring The Fat Jew, and its annual Seriously Popular Party, with Jason Derulo performing and celebs like Mindy Kaling, Amber Rose and Blac Chyna stopping by.
But one can only wonder how poor Rupert Murdoch—who owns the competing Times and Sun in the U.K.—must’ve felt, with his Wall Street Journal yacht docked right next to the Daily Mail’s overwhelming outpost and his unobstructed view of that enormous “M” in the sky.