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Live From the Licensing Show: Ebony Markets Licensed Products

Source: Promo Magazine - PROMO Xtra (original article no longer available)

Ebony isn't just about magazines anymore.

Johnson Publishing Co., the Chicago-based publisher of Ebony magazine, plans to license products bearing the Ebony name. The venture, unveiled Tuesday at the Licensing Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, marks the first time in the magazine's 60-year history the Ebony brand will hit the retail market.

The publishing company signed the deal with TurnerPatterson, a multicultural and licensing company based in Santa Monica, CA. Under the agreement, TurnerPatterson will review licensing opportunities of interest to African Americans.

Categories likely to tap the Ebony name include home goods, apparel, music, toys, financial services, mobile technology and home entertainment. The new licensed products will target four key demographics: African American women, families, teenagers and children.

TurnerPatterson brokered the deal for Johnson Publishing to help the publisher better reach its underserved target audience and to bring something new to the marketplace, said Debra Turner, Chairman and CEO of TurnerPatterson.

"The industry as a whole is void of products targeting African Americans," Turner said. The addition of licensed Ebony products would fill enhance retail options while at the same time create a "lifestyle" of sorts for Ebony fans, she added.

Ebony, which is in its 60th year, reaches 40% of all African Americans. About 12.6 million consumers reader the magazine each month.

Johnson Publishing is focusing on Ebony branded products because of the magazine's rich history, said Jerrold Carrington, TurnerPatterson's president and CEO. The company will market new products using the magazine's strength in its brand, he said.

"Ebony has such brand equity," Turner said. "[Its history] proves it has legs."

The first series of Ebony branded products, home entertainment products and paper goods, is expected to roll out in October, Turner said.


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