An All Blacks roasting and a BW Confidential toasting

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

After watching the All Blacks defeat Italy in the Rugby World Cup and celebrating long into the night, my head might be a little (make that a lot) sore, my mind about as disorientated as the Azzurris’ defence but the view from my apartment in Rue des Belges leaves me in no doubt where I am or what I am here for.

The giant advertising hoarding for a trio of Tom Ford fragrances from The Estée Lauder Companies means it’s almost showtime – as in the greatest show on the travel retail planet, TFWA World Exhibition.

The Italian team face down the haka. This would be as close as they would get to the All Blacks on the night during a 96-17 thrashing.

Having started in the business in 1987, I’ve been attending this show since 1988. Give or take the odd miss due to illness (once) and the COVID pandemic (twice), it’s been my home away from home for a week or so every year at various points in October.

As usual this week I am sharing my Interim Bureau with my long-term friend, colleague and (since 2015) business partner Dermot Davitt. Our schedules are jam-packed throughout the week and thanks to that and the fact that news from the rest of the world will continue to pour in over coming days, we really will live up to our moniker of ‘the website that never sleeps’.

Flashback to an earlier trade show. As you can see below, neither of us has changed a bit.

If you’re in Cannes look me or us up. Look up, too, our blockbuster ‘double whammy’ Cannes/Trinity Forum edition of The Moodie Davitt Report Magazine, a gargantuan publication but more importantly packed, we think, with quality. Dermot and I, together with our outstanding team, have worked around the clock on this and several other publications – as well as that insomniac website – over the past couple of weeks.

At some points, it really did seem impossible that we would get it over the line. But having done exactly that, the said edition nearly didn’t get to Cannes on time. An issue at our printers meant the delivery would not have made it down here till at least Tuesday, well into the event, unless we could lean on the help of a French company.

Why? Because due to the printing delay, our shipping house advised that we would need an EORI number registered in France to clear customs in time for the show. Our UK-generated one would not suffice.

Who ya gonna call? In fact we made two calls. One to TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer, whose team (despite a million other pressures) leapt straight into action. The second was to Nicolas Grob and Oonagh Phillips, publishers of the outstanding beauty sector title BW Confidential.

A class double act: Oonagh Phillips and Nicolas Grob

“We would be happy to help you,” shot back Nicolas within minutes. “Please find our VAT number below. Let us know if you need anything else.”

Wow, how’s that for trade kinship? Thanks to Nicolas and Oonagh, the title that we worked around the clock on is now winging – or make than ‘vanning’ – its way to Cannes. Now, with much relief, I can say, it’s showtime.

What a nice way to start Cannes week with a splendid lunch at Le Caveau in the good company of Foreo Global Travel Retail Director Gary Leong and his new wife (and star model) Lilith Yu

Maybe our industry needs to find a way to patent the term ‘duty free’. A DFS T Galleria this souvenir shop around the corner from our Bureau is not.
And now for the real thing, albeit a modest landside arrivals store from Aelia Duty Free at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport


After the long trip in from Hong Kong the day before, it was nice to rediscover my old home airport Heathrow and to see it buzzing again with passengers. As the picture shows, I was wheely keen to be travelling to Cannes.
I used to take this walk into the BA Lounge at least once a fortnight when I lived in the UK. This (courtesy of JCDecaux) is just a great example of the power of strategically placed airport advertising.
You meet all kinds of shady characters in airports
It’s always nice to see an activation in-store that you’ve written about. Brown-Forman recently introduced the travel retail-exclusive Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt Whiskey, the brand’s first permanent expression crafted from 100% malted barley. To mark the launch, Jack Daniel’s is hosting more than 40 duty free activations at airports worldwide, reaching an estimated 13 million travelling shoppers. Plans are in place to offer 60,000 tastings of the new expression across these activations. Chen, pictured above, wonderfully courteous and knowledgeable, did his best to make me one of the 60,000 but the hour was a little early.