Madonna will be the new face for clothing retailer the Gap's multimillion-dollar fall ad campaign. A Gap spokesperson gave few details, other than to say the campaign kicks off July 28 and also featur

Madonna will be the new face for clothing retailer the Gap's multimillion-dollar fall ad campaign. A Gap spokesperson gave few details, other than to say the campaign kicks off July 28 and also features rapper Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott.

Over the past several years, Gap has enlisted a diverse group of celebrities to be featured in their advertising, including Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston and Dennis Hopper, but experts believe signing on the pop icon is its biggest coup for the San Francisco-based retail chain, which needs some more buzz to continue its turnaround.

"This is the coolest idea. Madonna has kept her image fresh," said Mike Toth, president and chief creative director for Toth Brand Imaging, a brand and advertising company with offices in New York and Concord, Mass.

Toth said the pop icon will resonate well with the group that the chain wants to bring back to the stores -- shoppers in their 30s and early 40s.

Madonna hasn't done a lot of commercials for products, though she endorsed Pepsi several years ago, said her publicist Liz Rosenberg. And why Gap? "Why not Gap?" Rosenberg asked, noting that Madonna wears the clothes.

Madonna is also set to do some tie-ins with Gap to promote her children's book, "The English Roses," due out Sept. 15. Rosenberg declined to offer details.

After two years of disappointing sales, Gap started seeing business bounce back last fall with a return to the more basic fashions that fueled the company's expansion during the 1990s. Gap announced in May a significant improvement in its first-quarter earnings. The company reported $202.5 million in profits for the three months ended May 3 -- five times higher the year-earlier period.


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