Headlines in the deceased celebrity universe were made this week when Authentic Brands Group LLC announced that it has bought the controlling interest in the late Marilyn Monroe from its long-time owner and administrator, Mrs. Anna Strasberg. Authentic Brands already controls the rights to reggae legend Bob Marley, and has announced substantial plans for the revitalization of the Marilyn Monroe business.
Authentic Brands is reportedly developing a Marilyn Monroe-themed reality show, and is rolling out plans for Marilyn-branded makeup and lingerie offerings. Here is a link to the story with additional information from Authentic Brands’ head, Jamie Salter. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-13/dead-celebrity-dealmaker-salter-buys-marilyn-monroe-name.html
The January 13, 2011 edition of the TLL Daily Advisor [ http://www.tlldailyadvisor.com ] covered the news by adding that Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of recent litigation, and that there are various entities claiming to own or control some aspect of Marilyn’s rights or images. One of the biggest challenges the owner or representative of rights like those concerning Marilyn Monroe must face is policing the marketplace. Without a strategy for identifying and resolving unauthorized uses, a brand’s upward potential will always be more limited than it would otherwise have to be.
Another article from Bloomberg lists some of the recent deceased celebrity headlines, including the $27,000 Montblanc limited edition John Lennon pen, and estimates that the market for deceased celebrities is around $2.25 billion annually. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_04/b4212020763824.htm