De Beers Group, the diamond mining and marketing company, is to increase its marketing spend almost threefold to $180m (£110m), after the announcement of a new joint venture retail brand with luxury goods giant LVMH MoÃÂ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
De Beers Group and LVMH are creating an independently operated 50:50 joint venture company to sell premium diamond jewellery and associated luxury goods in De Beers-branded outlets.
The aim is to create a new customer base in order to drive demand and encourage competition in the diamond market.
De Beers’ sales and marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company, will increase its marketing spend on global generic advertising campaigns for 2001 to $180m (£109m). In 1998, the company spent $68m (£46.2m) on advertising – a figure that is believed to have remained steady since.
In the UK last year, De Beers spent £2m advertising jewellery and the Millennium Diamond Collection. Creative work was by J Walter Thompson and media through MindShare.
The upweighted advertising for this year, based around the strapline “A diamond is forever”, aims to “drive overall consumer demand for diamonds and support all of its clients, jewellery manufacturers and retailers around the world”, according to the company’s information.
LVMH group managing director Myron Ullman will be the chairman of the new luxury goods company.
Ullman says: “Diamonds are the ultimate luxury product and, as the world’s leading luxury goods group, LVMH is the ideal partner to develop the great potential of the De Beers names among consumers.”