Creepy secret message in Gorbachev ad?

Gorbachev_lv New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer today took a closer look at this Louis Vuitton ad with Mikhail Gorbachev (running on the back cover of this week’s issue) and promptly soiled itself. Apparently, the reading material sticking out of Gorbachev’s fancy bag says something like, “Litvinenko’s Murder: They Wanted to Give Up a Suspect for $7,000.” (Another site translates it as, “Murder of Litvinenko. Treason for $7000?”) Alexander Litvinenko was the ex-Russian spy who died of radiation poisoning last year, possibly at the hands of the Russian government. No one seems to know what the cryptic message means. Gorbachev was asked about it on a Danish talk show last week, but refused to shed any light. Whatever the explanation, it’s certainly the biggest Louis Vuitton ad mystery since people looked at this photo and wondered, “Why on earth does she have a shoe on her head?”

—Posted by Tim Nudd