Conde Nast Hunting Down @CondeElevator Tweeter
Satirical Conde Nast Twitter account has staff laughing and execs perplexed.
Aug. 10, 2011 — -- For anyone familiar with the publishing industry, Anna Wintour or "The Devil Wears Prada," the @CondeElevator Twitter account is the joke of the summer. In a mere five days, @CondeElevator has amassed more than 33,000 followers with 140-character witticisms about what may or may not go down inside the lifts of America's most prestigious magazine publisher.
The suits at Conde Nast, though, are not amused.
"We have no idea if this is real or made up and don't know who is behind it but it certainly suggests that many people care a great deal about what happens at Conde Nast," a Conde Nast spokeswoman said in an statement to ABCNews.com today.
Asked whether an effort is under way to uncover who is behind the Twitter account and if the company will allow the account to remain active, the spokeswoman said, "We are still looking into it, so I don't know what will or won't happen."
In the past, companies such as BP and TMZ have tried to stamp out accounts that bear their name and mock their business. Regardless, those working at the publishing house, which puts out some of the nation's highest-circulation glossies, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Allure, are laughing.
"The account is absolutely hilarious," said a source inside the building. "I think we love it because it really illustrates the pretentiousness that so many people are overcome with in publishing."
Another source called the tweets "amusing!"
"The ironic thing is that people tend to stay fairly silent on the elevator, aside from one-on-one conversations, but many of those exchanges could definitely occur," the first source said. "I've never been accosted for my omelet, but I have gotten side-eyes for my burger at lunch on the way back up to my desk."
Like the executives, the staff has no idea who's behind @CondeElevator.
"I've had a friend mention one name to me, but I definitely don't think it's him," the first source said. "Really, it could be anyone."
A third source said it knew "for a fact" that the tweets are coming from one or more people at a "4-16" magazine, meaning, a title located between the fourth and 16th floors of Conde Nast's 4 Times Square, New York headquarters. Those floors use a separate elevator bank than the "17-23" magazines. "4-16" titles include Vogue, Allure, Self, Lucky, Teen Vogue, Details and GQ.
Conde Nast's public image as a hive of stick thin, stiletto-wearing drones emerged after Lauren Weisberger's roman à clef, "The Devil Wears Prada," hit shelves in 2003. Weisberger, a former assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Wintour, chronicled the magazine's outrageous demands on the figures and sanity of its staff. A movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway followed in 2006; the 2009 documentary "The September Issue" further solidified Wintour's reputation as an ice queen in an ivory tower.
None of this appears to have hurt Conde Nast. The upcoming September issue of Vogue contains 584 ad pages, more than any other fashion title this year, bringing $92 million in revenue to the magazine for that month alone.
Leaving @CondeElevator alone could actually be a boon to Conde Nast, which has been slow to latch on to the digital revolution. While its famed cafeteria has a Twitter account, it hasn't been updated since Jan. 18, when the featured dish was chicken pot pie at the new comfort food station.
"They're not very up on Twitter," the first source said. "I hope they'll let it stay up, because it has to be a satire. A truthful one, but a satire nonetheless."