Honeyshed’s QVC-for-the-Web Experiment Meets a Grisly End

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Publicis-backed Honeyshed, the explicitly sales-y hipster portal with the tag line, “Reinventing Shopping for the Digital Generation,” hasn’t gone dark yet. But in look and feel it already seems an artifact of more prosperous times, our modern equivalent of the roaring ’20s. Indeed, the sorts of products hawked by its resident models — Reebok freestyle high metallic sneaks and high-end mascaras — are perfect equivalents to the flapper dress and the bob cut.

The site, which has enjoyed a fair amount of buzz since its first launch in 2007, will cease to exist after Publicis declined to re-up its investment in the project. The presumed reason for that decision: the global economic meltdown, which has put a crunch on client budgets, especially when it comes to extravagant branding efforts.

Not long ago management was singing a different tune. After a redesign in November, the project’s leader, former Digitas exec Stephen Greifer, told AdAge, “In every economic climate, people have disposable income…we’re not asking people to buy houses and make major investments decisions.” That argument apparently no longer holds water with Publicis.

A spokesmen for Droga5, Publicis’ partner in the venture, said yesterday the site would be shut down in the “immediate future,” and confirmed approximately 10 staffers would be let go. As of this morning however you can still catch a glimpse of Honeyshed’s lanky models peddling Nintendo boxing gloves for Wii.

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