by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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From the desk of Bob
Bartering In Film & TV Started Long Ago
Media research firm PQ Media did a
study last year that showed 64% of products placed
in movies and television shows are done on a
bartered basis. The trading of “exposure” is a
multi-billion-dollar way-of-doing business. (It
accounted for $2.44 billion in 2005, and is expected
to grow 15% a year through 2009.)
It started in the 1950s with the
acclaimed movie, The African Queen, when
actress Katharine Hepburn’s character was paid by
Gordon Gin to toss its liquor bottles overboard.
Then in a 1967 beverage plug, a young
Dustin Hoffman sipped a can of Olympia beer as he
floated in Mrs. Robinson’s swimming pool in The
The advertising technique really came
of age in the early 1980s with the film ET.
When M&M/Mars turned down director Steven
Spielberg’s request for permission to use its candy
in the film, he turned to Reese’s Pieces...owned by
Mars’ rival Hershey Foods. The brief scene in which
the candy was used set off a sales boom for the
Product placement has always been
viewed as an alternative medium, but in the last few
years it has become an established marketing tactic.
By getting various products on trade, Hollywood
saves a bundle of cash from its production budget.
In return, products get immortalized on film.
With the average cost of making a
movie now over $60 million, and marketing costs
running another $20 million or more, studios are
under intense pressure to shave expenses where they
can. Bartering “product exposure” is a simple and
productive way to offset costs.
The product placement with the most sizzle could
well be Learjet...the company typically provides its
planes to studios to cart around cast and crew in
exchange for the plane appearing in the movie.
Starbucks Trading On Their
When you have 5,500 North American
stores and a sizzling positive brand, there is no
end to what can be accomplished. First it was the
marketing juggernaut’s move into music where the
Starbucks buzz turned Ray Charles’ Grammy
award-winning “Genius Lives Company” into a runaway,
1.3 million CDs best-seller.
Now it’s on to the movies...this
recent move is indicative of the expansive thinking
coming from their Seattle headquarters. What’s their
ultimate goal? Becoming an entertainment
Starbucks is a producer of the film
Akeelah and the Bee, a story of a young
African American girl winning a spelling bee.
Although they did not put a dime into the
production, they astutely leveraged their enormous
distribution system...trading on their unique retail
environment which attracts repeat customers up to
five times a week! In addition to receiving a share
of the film’s profits, they will sell the DVD in
Looking ahead, the company has tapped
the famed William Morris Agency to help them
identify music, film, and book projects for future
marketing and distribution consideration.
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See you next week. . .)
Grubb & Ellis Trades On Expertise & Network, Acquiring 22% Stake In
New Spin-Off Company
A large real estate services firm, Chicago-based
Grubb & Ellis, has completed an initial public offering (IPO) on the
American Stock Exchange for a blank-check company.
The newly-formed Grubb & Ellis Realty Advisors’
controversial structure is so named because investors buy shares
before the company identifies what it will acquire. (Blank-check
firms consist of an empty shell company and a management team whose
purpose is to raise capital to purchase an operating business.)
Grubb & Ellis plans to use its existing corporate
network of 5,000 people in 38 states to help identify undervalued
properties in secondary markets that G&E Realty Advisors could
purchase, improve and resell. The company would also receive
management and leasing fees, as well as disposition fees when the
properties are sold.
The IPO raised $143
million. Grubb & Ellis made a modest capital contribution of $2.5
million and then traded on its expertise and network to obtain an
initial 22% ownership in the newly-traded company. Their ownership
position, valued at $30 million, reinforces the fact that an entity
(whether an individual or other structure) can successfully trade on
its various assets to build wealth. In this case, those assets were
expertise coupled with an effective business network.
Trade Exchange Owners...
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Would You Like To Make 2006 Your Greatest Year Ever?
Persistence Paying Off For Mardak
International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) CEO Don
Mardak has been making regular appearances at various investment
conferences, spreading the word about IMS to the investment
His most recent appearance was at the Financial
Services Exchange (FSX) Investment Conference in Miami (FL) this
past weekend. Mardak made two presentations to broker-dealer
decision makers, and spent three days networking with high-profile
Mardak noted that the FSX conference series have been
ongoing for 23 years, and the events have resulted in raising over
$1.4 billion for presenting companies.
“During the past several months, we have had great
success in presenting our company’s story to the investment
community,” Mardak divulged. “This has resulted in a recent 50%
increase in our share price, as well as a substantial investment in
IMS shares by a professional fund.”
Last week IMS reported that its March revenue totaled
$564,000, an increase of 42% over March 2005.
For more information
on IMS see
Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates
Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility
There are many forms of secondary capital—which can
be defined as any financial instrument that measures and
communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and
learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?
We have 75 free,
informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary
Capital Section.” Check it out...
Steve Singer Leaves Barter Industry, Buys Budpak Inc.
For 25 years Steven Singer worked with National
Commerce Exchange in Jericho (NY). He recently informed
BarterNews that he has left the barter industry because an old
friend (whom he’d helped 7 years ago) made him an offer he couldn’t
It began when Singer helped his friend, Bud Pion,
start a business after an account had stuck Pion with 500,000
one-ounce plastic tubes. Pion sent the tubes to a company on Long
Island which filled them with a first aid cream. Singer helped
secure the package design for the tubes on trade, and the cream was
then sold to dollar stores.
That item was so successful that several other
products were added—Anti Itch Cream, Antifungal Cream, Cocoa Butter
Cream, and an A&D cream. The firm, Budpak, now buys a million tubes
at a time from Brazil, and sells the line nationally through a
network of representatives.
Pion’s success was even more impressive, since at the
time he started the company (after fifty years in the packaging
business) he was 80 years old. Now 87, he wants to take it a little
easier. Since Singer had been helping him with marketing and
financial advice since the beginning, Singer was provided with an
opportunity to acquire the company in an arrangement he couldn’t
He is now busy using his trade dollars to build a web
site and update the computer system. Singer looks to manufacture the
line in India or China, with plans to visit either country before
He looks forward to
doing some barter transactions with many of his friends in the
industry. To contact Steven Singer of Budpak, e-mail him at
New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
You can obtain
useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
Is General Motors The Canary For U.S. Economy?
Bond guru Bill Gross, managing director of Pacific
Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), the world’s largest bond fund
based in Newport Beach, says the woes of General Motors are a
preview of the troubles the U.S. could face.
“GM is a canary in this country’s economic coal mine,
a forerunner of what’s to come for the broader economy,” contends
Gross, often referred to as the “Warren Buffett of
the bond world,” believes high labor costs, questionable
competitiveness, rising health-care, and pension burdens are among
the issues snagging GM...and they will afflict the U.S. in the near
future, as well.
He says the
longer-term fallout for America will likely be a weaker dollar,
lower wages and higher taxes. So Gross is putting his clients’ money
into the emerging Asian economies, where savings rates are higher
and government promises to future retirees are smaller.
Our Web Site Has Added A Search Tool For You
Ever wondered if a certain topic, person, or
organization has been written about on the
website? Now you can easily find out, as we’ve added a search tool.
It will quickly give you the answer to your questions, in 3 easy
steps that take about 12 seconds!
At the top right of the page, just under where you
sign up for the Tuesday Report you will see a little Google box. It
is where you can (1) type in the name of a subject, company or
person. Then (2) click the button for
www.barternews.com to search the site, followed by (3) hitting
the search button.
For example, if you
wanted to search the BarterNews web site for other stories on Bill
Gross—the story before this one—you would find that we have 27
stories on him.
barter company in the world is listed on our web site,
click through to our Global List
of Barter Companies.
Unique “Trading Alliances” Reported
1) The Foxwood Indian Reservation, home to
Connecticut based Foxwoods Resort Casino, has entered into an
unusual alliance with the MGM Mirage—wherein both entities will
Foxwood, wanting to expand its convention and
entertainment business will gain access to MGM’s database of more
than 22 million customers. It will use MGM’s established
partnerships with other companies to help attract new restaurants
and top-tier entertainment to eastern Connecticut.
The MGM Mirage, in turn, will have the opportunity to
open a hotel and casino alongside one of the world’s most successful
casinos...thus gaining brand exposure in the lucrative Northeast
gaming market. The new MGM hotel will be operated by Foxwoods
2) Bank of America is in the midst of trading its
BankBoston operations in South America for a minority stake in
Brazil’s second-largest private bank—Banco Itau Holding Financeira.
The barter endeavor
for the stake in Banco would continue Bank of America’s recent
practice of expanding in developing countries by acquiring minority
interest in local banks.
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