Whatever Vanity Fair invested in the exclusive pictures of the recently born baby of Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes:it was well worth it.
The issue with baby Suri on the cover and an inside 22-page spread of the baby and parents is turning out to be the magazine’s hottest selling issue. And it also resulted in the magazine’s website on which the pictures could be viewed receiving 4,000,000 visits in one day. That’s three times more than the previous record.
The magazine also claims to have signed up 4,000 new subscriptions – again the largest one-day total ever.
One newsstand in New York’s Grand Central railway station alone sold 350 copies.
Newsstands all around New York reported running out of copies.
Distributor’s vans rushed extra copies to newsstands.
Vanity Fair – to ensure secrecy – even posted special guards at its printing plant.
No-one on the magazine’s staff other than those involved in the story was allowed to see the pictures – taken by noted photographer Annie Leibovitz – until the magazine was on its way to newsstands and book shops.
Not even the magazine’s publicity department was given any advance copies.
Editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, according to Women’s Wear Daily, personally masterminded the operation.
One of the more unusual measures involved shipping the magazine to distributors a day later than normal – to narrow the time when copies might have been sneaked to rival publications.
As it was, the security guards did, it’s claimed, catch one person trying to sneak a copy – someone it’s said from an unnamed weekly competitor.
How much Vanity Fair paid for the rights to run the pictures, taken at Tom Cruise's country retreat, has not been disclosed. It has been suggested it was a personal arrangement between Cruise and the photographer who took earlier pictures of the actor’s two adopted childen. At the time he was married to Nicole Kidman.