Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

De Beers Plans to Repeat its Record Holiday Marketing Spend

  • Period from Thanksgiving to Chinese New Year sees peak demand
  • De Beers expects single-digit growth in U.S. sales in 2016

De Beers, which spent a record $120 million marketing diamonds for the last holiday season in the U.S. and China, plans to invest a similar amount again this year.

“We had such positive results from the campaigns in 2015 that our plan would be to do something similar for 2016,” Gareth Mostyn, head of strategy at De Beers, told reporters in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, on Wednesday. “We have not defined what the campaign will look like because it must be done in real time.”

The most recent campaign helped bolster sales at the end of a difficult year for the diamond world as lower demand and an industrywide credit crunch pushed prices of rough gems down 18 percent. De Beers, owned by Anglo American Plc, typically focuses its marketing on the period between Thanksgiving in the U.S. and the Chinese New Year in January or February, the peak time for diamond jewelry sales.

Global jewelry sales fell 2 percent to $79 billion last year, with China and U.S. the biggest markets, according to De Beers. American purchases rose 5 percent to a record $39 billion and De Beers expects a similar increase this year, Mostyn said.

De Beers is the biggest diamond producer and its largest mines are in Botswana.

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