aNb Media News, March 4, 2010

A License for The Bold and the Beautiful

Brand management and marketing company, Paid, Inc., and The Bold and the Beautiful have appointed Stone America, LLC to develop and license the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful for fashion lifestyle merchandise, to include home, apparel, and beauty products. The CBS drama series, which for 23 years has focused on the lives of a Beverly Hills fashion dynasty, captures the imagination of more than 35 million viewers a day in more than 100 countries.

Paid will work along with The Bold and the Beautiful team in the licensing area, which will encompass retail and live experiences, among other categories. Paid is also working with The Bold and the Beautiful team on the development of connected fan communities to support the series, including fan events and outreach for its stars, as well as coordinating the strategic direction of the series’ website and social media initiatives.

HGTV Line of Products to Debut Spring 2011

HGTV, the home and lifestyle television network, announced the launch of HGTV Home branded products. The line includes fashion bedding and window treatments by Victoria Classics, utility bedding by Natura World and select bathroom accessories by Ginsey Home Solutions. The Beanstalk Group, HGTV’s licensing agency, is responsible for bringing these partners together.

The fashion bedding and window treatments collection by Victoria Classics will include coverlets, comforters, bed spreads, duvets, sheets, shams, toss pillows, drapes and curtains, window panels, and sheers and valances. Products will reflect current and fresh styles that are trend right with a decorator feel featuring both unique designs and solid patterns.

Natura World is developing a line of healthy sleep solutions including natural, antimicrobial and sustainable comforters, mattress toppers, mattress pads, and pillows.

Ginsey Home Solutions is producing a line of select bath accessories to include toilet seats and innovative mats for use in the bathroom as well as throughout the home. Products will be a blend of the best of safety, comfort, fashion, and function.

Products will be offered in spring 2011 at appropriate channels of distribution including department, home specialty, and home improvement stores.

Nick Celebrates Dora’s 10th with Pro-Social Campaign

Nickelodeon is marking the 10th anniversary of Dora the Explorer, with a new pro-social campaign titled “Beyond the Backpack” that promotes school readiness for preschoolers. The campaign will serve as the key component of Nickelodeon’s overall plans for Dora the Explorer’s anniversary, and will consist of a PSA campaign featuring actress Salma Hayek Pinault and Dora the Explorer; a fundraising auction of limited-edition Dora backpacks, with designs by Hayek Pinault and other celebrities; financial grants; a dedicated website with downloadable tool kits for parents and educators; and local community activities across the country. Nickelodeon’s anniversary plans for Dora also include four prime-time TV specials; an original documentary; and new online Dora content for preschoolers and their parents.

Guinness World Records Now Offers PR Services

Guinness World Records recently announced the launch of a paid-for PR service as a new business area to complement the brand’s popular adjudication service. The in-house PR service will be offered exclusively to adjudications claimants-those event organizers who invite a Guinness World Records official to verify their record attempts-in the UK, Ireland, U.S. and Canada. This program went into effect on March 1.

The records management team at Guinness World Records is solely dedicated to processing record claims, and dispatching “judges,” known as adjudicators, to verify hundreds of record attempts around the world every year. Although the underlying motivation for wanting to break a world record differs vastly among organizers, most companies turn to record attempts as a way to raise awareness of products, charities, or other corporate causes.

The sizeable growth of the adjudication service during the economic turmoil of 2009 is indicative of the strong PR and marketing value inherent in the Guinness World Records attempt. Between 2008 and 2009, the number of adjudications grew with 44 percent in the UK and 98 percent in the U.S.

Components of the paid-for PR service will include press release writing, distribution, pitching, social media outreach, and press management among other areas of support. For more information contact
Jakks Reports Q4, 2009 Year-End Results, Friedman Steps Down as CEO Effective April 1

Jakks Pacific, Inc., reported results for the company’s fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $198.8 million, compared to $269.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008; and net sales for the full year of 2009 were $803.7 million, compared to $903.4 million for the full year of 2008. The company reported a loss for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $1.9 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to net income of $16.9 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, reported in the fourth quarter of 2008. For the full year of 2009, Jakks reported a net loss of $385.5 million, or $14.02 per share, compared to earnings for the year for 2008 of $76.1 million, or $2.42 per diluted share.

On a non-GAAP basis, 2009 net sales for the fourth quarter were $198.8 million and $804.3 million for the full year, compared to non-GAAP net sales of $269.3 million and $903.4 million for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008, respectively. On a non-GAAP basis, Jakks net income for the fourth quarter was $6.4 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $16.9 million, or $0.55 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income for the full year of 2009 was $30.2 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $66.6 million, or $2.13 per diluted share for the full year of 2008.

Jack Friedman, chairman and co-CEO, said in a statement, “We continue to operate in a challenging retail environment, making operational efficiencies a top priority, as we simultaneously work to develop new and compelling consumer products to strengthen our portfolio for future growth. Our cost reduction plan is well underway, and we continue to evaluate potential acquisition opportunities, which is a key component of our growth strategy,” said Friedman. “We are directing all of our efforts company-wide to maximize profitability on the lower revenue base we are expecting for 2010, with a goal of growing the top line back to historical levels in the long-term.”

Friedman also announced, “After serving as Jakks’ chairman and CEO since its inception and most recently as its co-CEO, effective April 1, 2010, I am stepping down as CEO. I will continue as chairman and serve as the company’s chief strategist, and will actively advise the company on acquisition and financing strategies, as well as other areas where I can be of service and provide value to the company.”

Stephen Berman, who will be Jakks’ CEO and continue as president effective April 1, 2010, said in a statement, “We have been executing on our restructuring plan to increase future profitability, including consolidating office spaces, reducing spending, and reorganizing our divisions and teams following meaningful headcount reductions, while simultaneously working on 2010 and development for 2011 and beyond. As a result of our efforts to enhance profitability, we believe we have realized significant cost savings, and are still looking at additional efficiencies.”