Joan Parker, who managed the De Beers Group’s U.S. public relations for nearly 30 years, recently stepped
down to manage communications for the new De Beers-LVMH joint retail venture, De Beers LV.
“There comes a time when everybody wants to look for something that’s new,” she told JCK. “I will miss my team, and the client I’ve worked with for so long, but I am still going to be doing diamonds, and it’s exciting to be on the ground floor of a new venture like this.”
Parker, whose last day was April 1, will work for the joint venture as a consultant. She launched the Diamond Information Center in 1973, also as a consultant, but eventually became a full-time partner of N.W. Ayer and senior vice president of J. Walter Thompson when the DIC moved there. Through the years, Parker and her team outfitted stars with diamonds at events like the Oscars and helped promote trends like the tennis bracelet, three-stone ring, and solitaire necklace.
While it may seem as if Parker is still working for De Beers, the two positions are different. The Diamond Information Center officially works for the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the De Beers Group’s marketing arm. The DTC promotes diamonds generically and no longer features the name “De Beers” in its advertising. De Beers LV, the soon-to-be retail chain, is half-owned by De Beers but is an independently managed and operated company.
At press time, there was no word on Parker’s replacement.