Jamie Salter, CEO of Authentic Brands Group (ABG), has talked about how Marilyn helped to build his business empire, in an interview with Forbes magazine.
“For Marilyn Monroe, Salter purchased 80% of the Monroe estate in 2012 for a reported $20 million to $30 million before slashing its 300 licensing deals—from T-shirts to refrigerator magnets—down to 80. Then he built the business back up, purchasing the other 20% of the estate and increasing the number of licenses to the sweet spot of 100, focusing on venerable brands that Monroe actually used in life—like Chanel No. 5.
‘You can sell X amount of Marilyn Monroe fragrance at a mass-market retailer, or you can do a deal with Chanel No. 5,’ Salter says. ‘A No. 5 deal doesn’t pay as well, but I think that’s important for the brand because it gives a halo effect. And the truth of the matter is, she wore Chanel No. 5.’
He [initially] went after the Marilyn Monroe business and received a no. But eventually Anna Strasberg, the widow of Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg (to whom she’d left her estate), came back and agreed to a deal to sell 80%. (And three years after Salter bought into Monroe, Strasberg sold him the rest of the business.)
Monroe’s business became so successful in the years following Salter’s arrival that he ended up paying the same amount for the last 20% than he had for the first 80%. He wouldn’t reveal precise numbers, but industry insiders were nevertheless impressed.”
Marilyn’s estate is suing a Chinese merchandising company for $22 million over a botched licensing deal, The Blast reports.
“According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the estate says they reached a licensing agreement with Alba Longa Concepts in 2016. The deal called for the production and manufacturing of a ‘line of defined consumer products, including sunglasses, watches, luggage, bags, leather accessories scarves, footwear, apparel, dinnerware, drinkware, barware and flatware, in China.’
The estate says the deal was to run for 10 years and promised them a ‘Guaranteed Minimum Royalties’ payment of $1,000,000 the first year, $1.5 million the second, and $2 million for each year thereafter.
According to the suit, the estate says they had the right to terminate the deal if they breach the contract by not making a scheduled payment within 10 days of being served notice that a payment is overdue.
Here’s where the big money comes in: Marilyn Monroe’s estate says that the deal provides that in the event of any breach by Alba Longa Concepts, all ‘Guaranteed Minimum Royalties’ payments for the length of the contract would become immediately due.
Monroe’s estate says Alba Longa Concepts breached the agreement on December 1, 2016 when they failed to make a payment. The estate says over the next year, they notified Alba Longa Concepts several times about the breach, but nothing was done.
Now the estate is suing, claiming they are owed $18.5 million for the missed royalties payments, plus another $4.48 million they claim they are owed in missed payments related to licensing the trademark.
They are seeking the money they are owed, plus 1% interest per month.”
“Milton H. Greene Archives Inc. has been in a long-running court battle with Anna Strasberg, widow of Monroe’s acting coach, Lee Strasberg, and her licensing agent CMG Worldwide, which have controlled use of Monroe’s image for years.
In a ruling on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California backed a lower court decision that allowed Greene Archives to license its images of Monroe.
The legal battle over Greene’s images hinged on where Monroe was living at the time of her death on August 5, 1962. The court ruled Monroe resided in New York and therefore she did not have the posthumous right of publicity based on the state’s law.
‘Because no such right exists under New York law, Monroe LLC did not inherit it … and cannot enforce it against Milton Greene or others similarly situated,’ Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the court.
Wardlaw wrote that the lengthy dispute over Monroe’s persona ‘has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more that 50 years ago,’ pointing to Monroe’s quote: ‘I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.'”
AVELA, a company specialising in nostalgia merchandise, has filed a lawsuit in New York, alleging that the Marilyn Monroe estate is interfering with its licensing activity, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Despite judgments that ruled that Monroe couldn’t devise by will a property right she did not own at the time of her death in 1962, the estate has continued to send out cease-and-desist letters…
…AVELA says that it has also received a cease-and-desist and is now suing to punish the estate for its legal aggressiveness.”