Let me just add something to this Idex story … My understanding, from some good sources, is that De Beers/DTC executives have traveled to New York rather frequently in the last six months. Gareth Penny even came for a bit. I also saw one or two at the Russell Simmons press conference. And while in the past, De Beers executives limited their trips to “non-commercial” activities, like meetings on conflict diamonds and charitable functions (like Jewelers for Children), lately they have been visiting JWT and the De Beers store on Fifth Avenue, clearly commercial activities.
The DTC account at JWT has also apparently loosened its restrictions on contact with De Beers; no longer are people there paranoid about regularly calling (or getting called by) ”the client,” restrictions that were in place until surprisingly recently.
Given that the De Beers already has a U.S. representative (on the non-commercial side), most think it’s a matter of time before they come in here full force. (Still it is worth noting that De Beers held sightholder seminars in every cutting center but New York; apparently some skittishness remains.) The speculation is that they are waiting for this class action to be fully put to bed, although the class action lawyers don’t understand that. Anyway, welcome to New York, guys! Give me a call. As we say in America, we’ll do lunch!