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TOTAL LICENSING
Tiffany’s, posed to promote Givenchy’s perfume ticipating in such media exercises like American Conclusion
“L’interdit” – are long over. Idol or Dancing with the Stars. In summary, I would
Stars make often more money in endorse- There is a whole set of literature that discuss- like to quote Mark
ments than in pay for their craft, or their sport- es a narcissist generation. Too many of us see Twain who said, “Get
ing prizes won. Think of Michael Jordan, Tiger ourselves at the center of the universe. This your facts first, then
Woods, think of the business successes of Paul blinds us to an understanding of who we are you can distort them
Newman’s salad dressings and other food spe- and where, reasonably, we might belong. how you please.”
cialties. Think of Gene Hackman advertising Notwithstanding me-
Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, Julia Rob- Role Models dia excess on balance,
erts praising AOL, Vera Wang designing a fashion Celebrity campaigns influence politics and elec- the media has brought us:
line for Kohl’s, Penelope Cruz’s perfumes, Justin tions. Whereas we all think Hollywood and ce- • Quick access to needed information.
Timberlake’s clothing line and restaurants. Even lebrities are all of them so very liberal, don’t fool • Can we imagine living without Google
child stars can do it. The Olsen twins starred in yourself. There are many conservative celebri- that gives us an easy route to anything we
television’s Full House. Check out their web- ties like Charlton Heston, Arnold Schwarzeneg- might want to know?
site, www.mary-kateandashley.com and see how ger, Sonny Bono, Ronald Reagan, etc., so you can • When we use the media intelligently it
much their fans can purchase. always find one to fit your choice. educates us!
Certainly we in the licensing business know all • The world is at our doorstep and
about these phenomena – in fact we keep look- While criticizing let us not forget that some ce- government suppression of news has
ing for the next big one. Business genius Sean lebrities can be true role models. Their good become difficult, if not impossible. (Just
“Diddy” Combs’ “Sean John” line has a volume acts, and their charitable works (fueled often think of the seeping out of blogs
of about 400 million and hip-hop artist Jay-Z is by their wealth but nonetheless most praise- when Iran denied official press coverage.)
a co-founder of “Rocawear” – in these exam- worthy) make them valued and admired world Think of the communication between
ples music led to a brand. The most successful citizens. Bono of U2 performs in benefit con- minority opinions that cannot be
publicity campaigns brought us U2 and Bon Jovi. certs to raise money for countries in need of suppressed.
Think what a good name and a good logo are funds. Magic Johnson went public about being • Speed of business interactions and with
worth – think of Kiss – I bet you remember the HIV positive, putting HIV/AIDS awareness on it rapidity of decision-making leading to
lips! – I do! the map. Christopher Reeve, whose horseback cost savings.
riding accident made him a quadriplegic, lobbied • The promise of further technological
What Does it Take to Become a for ten years on laws relating to stem cell re- advances, which will lead to new avenues
Celebrity? search. His wife Dana Reeve battled lung can- of employment and new industries. Like
There are so many formulas and so many differ- cer through her foundation. George Clooney the invention of the wheel, steam,
ent routes that generalization is difficult. Cer- raised public awareness of Rwandan genocide. electricity, and computerization, the
tainly it takes some talent, some being in the Leonardo DiCaprio made us aware of the blood internet and its age of the media will
right place at the right time, some luck to meet diamond trade. change the world as we know it. It will
the right managers, talent scouts, sponsors – and bring as yet not imaginable expansion of
most of all it takes charisma. It also occasionally Media and Politics humankind’s control and domination over
takes “bookers” of national TV shows such as Politicization of the media has totally changed their environment.
“The Today Show” or the many cable shows that the role of the media star reporter. Egged on by
“manufacture” celebrities. the reporter’s judgments we have developed an Let us therefore open our doors to this new
No wonder then that many of our media-nour- admiration for perfection, which often is unreal- world even when its “unknown” sometimes
ished children feel that they can become stars, istic and unattainable. In pursuit of this chime- scares us.
and that some parents themselves are in love ra, reporters praise, exaggerate, and get angry. We should accept this new world. We should
with the idea that their little one shows early When an event does not meet with their utopi- not be media driven but make individual, inde-
talent and probably deserves all the support: an belief in objectivity and political correctness pendent choices on what ideas we wish to sup-
dancing lessons, ballet, ice skating training, music and their status as arbiters and judgers, they feel port or refuse.
lessons – anything to develop that little genius they have to give equal time and equal weight to
into a big full-blown famous celebrity. Money is opposing sides. They do not explain, they ex-
spent and dreams are dreamt. claim. They are “delighted”, they are “furious”,
View from America is a Total Licensing
What, however, when it doesn’t work out and they are “desperate”. All of this relates to our
magazine column written regularly by George
we have not sufficiently impressed on our chil- choosing feelings over facts as a measurement of
Medina of New York-based Intercontinental
dren that many try but only a few are chosen? conflicts. When we give as much space to a ho-
Licensing. The column is intended to give our
readers worldwide some idea of the American
Failure in teenage years can be a very serious locaust denier as we do to the holocaust victim
mind set and incidentally his own opinion to
handicap in development and the joy of self- we totally ignore the rights and the wrongs of
help them understand key issues in today’s
assurance. the situation. There is a golden rule, there is a
world. If you have any questions, comments
Excess in media adoration can lead to many a moral judgment and commandment that should
or opinions on the column, do please contact
renewed dream, even in later life. Hope never allow us to have an opinion on what is patently us at Total Licensing or, alterntively, contact
dies and even adults will dare and try and some- untrue versus what is provably true.
George directly on (212) 683 5830. email:
times they may look positively silly while par-
interny@intercontinental-ltd.com
185
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