Parker shown the door as Gap spokeswoman

Gap, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

San Francisco, CaliforniaSarah Jessica Parker has lost her fashion cache with Gap Inc. The U.S. clothier said it was dropping the star of its current and ubiquitous I Enjoy Being a Girl television advertising campaign and buying out her contract.

Parker who turns 40 Friday and is best known for her role as the Manolo Blahnik shoe-crazed Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO comedy, Sex and the City, was ousted after less than one year of a multi-year contract. She signed a three-year $38 million deal with the San Francisco-based retailer in mid-2004 and has only appeared in ads for the company since the 2004 holiday season.

"While Gap will always seek partnerships with celebrities, musicians and rising stars, we don't have any future plans to sign a single person to a multi-season deal like the unique and special relationship we enjoyed with Sarah Jessica," Gap said in a statement Monday, stopping short of calling the ad campaign a failure. One such rising star slated to appear in the upcoming summer white denim promotion for Gap is 17-year-old Grammy-nominated British singer Joss Stone.

Although Gap would not say its Parker ad campaign was less than successful, the same can not be said for stock market pundits. "If you're like me, and have gotten a little sick of hearing Sarah Jessica Parker sing about how much she likes being a girl on those Gap commercials," Alyce Lomax, a stock market commentator for The Motley Fool web site, said. "Investors who have been watching this stock know that despite the best efforts of Ms. Parker and the creative teams that came up with the ads, Gap's quarterly fashion sense continues to be, well, flattish ... in the meantime, other, hotter retailers have stolen the show."

In a statement to reporters, Parker called the spilt with Gap a mutual decision, and walks away $38 million richer and recently signed a 2-year deal with former employer HBO to develop future programming for the network. Parker is also scheduled to appear in two upcoming comedy films, a movie adaptation of the Comedy Central series, Strangers with Candy, as well as The Family Stone, costarring Diane Keaton and Claire Danes.