Music publisher Chrysalis being sold Sunday, Nov 28 2010 

26 November 2010 Last updated at 10:45 GMT 

Music publisher Chrysalis being sold

David Bowie David Bowie is one of Chrysalis’ clients

UK music publisher Chrysalis Group is being sold for £107.4m.

Chrysalis is being bought by German rival Bertelsmann Media Group (BMG) and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

London-based Chrysalis controls the publishing rights to songs by artists including David Bowie and Michael Jackson.

Chrysalis, founded in 1969, used to own a record company of the same name before it was sold to EMI in 1991.

Chris Wright, Chrysalis’ founder, said the deal marked “the end of one era and the start of another” for the firm.

BMG and KKR are buying Chrysalis through a joint venture.

They are paying 160 pence per Chrysalis share, 45.5% higher than the 110p closing price on 29 October, the last trading day before Chrysalis announced that it was in takeover talks.

Chrysalis shares were down 2% to 158.50 pence in Friday trading.

BMG chief executive Martwig Masuch said the deal represented “an important step forward” in his company’s building of a “major, global music rights business”.

Mr Wright added that he was proud of Chrysalis’ “track record”.


‘Harry Potter’ Has $330 Million Debut Weekend Monday, Nov 22 2010 

‘Harry Potter’ Has $330 Million Debut Weekend

LOS ANGELES — The seventh Harry Potter movie opened to a jaw-dropping $330 million in global ticket sales over the weekend, underscoring the magical powers of the Warner Brothers marketing and distribution departments.

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers Pictures

The first “Deathly Hallows” film made $125 million in North America.

That brawny total easily made “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” No. 1 in North America, where the boy wizard generated an estimated $125.1 million. It was the second-biggest domestic opening for the Harry Potter franchise; adjusting for higher ticket prices, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” sold $127.4 million over its first three days in November 2005.

The strong results for the film, the penultimate in the franchise, reflect the continued popularity of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and “Deathly Hallows” also earned strong reviews.

But equally important was a yearlong, full-court press by Warner’s global marketing chief, Sue Kroll, to position “Deathly Hallows” as a must-see event for children and adults alike. The advertising campaign played up the sophisticated, darker elements of the plot. Harry and pals are now grown up, for instance, and the good-versus-evil battle is intensifying as the story line reaches its climax.

The marketing materials also injected some edge into the franchise by taking risks like identifying the film only by the letters “HP7” and splattering posters and billboards with what looked like blood; one poster depicted the Hogwarts castle in flames.

It paid off: about 25 percent of the North American audience for “Deathly Hallows” was in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, according to Dan Fellman, Warner’s president of domestic distribution. In comparison, about 10 percent of the audience for the first film in the series came from that age bracket. Mr. Fellman noted that “Deathly Hallows” beat “Alice in Wonderland” to become the top opening movie in Imax history.

Imax showings on 239 screens accounted for $12.4 million of the domestic box office and contributed $16.6 million (on 340 screens) of the international gross. At its opening, “Alice” took in $12.1 million domestically from Imax and $15.3 million internationally.

“No other franchise has been able to age and expand the audience this way,” Mr. Fellman said.

Early last week, the first 36 minutes of “Deathly Hallows,” about a quarter of the movie, leaked onto the Internet, prompting a fresh round of hand-wringing about piracy and leading to some worries that the movie’s opening weekend would suffer as a result. Mr. Fellman said that the studio was investigating but that the pirated footage did not appear to hurt the release. (If anything, the news media coverage of the leak helped.)

The Harry Potter series will conclude with the 3-D release of the second half of “Deathly Hallows” on July 15. The franchise, overseen by Alan F. Horn, Warner’s chief operating officer, has generated some $6 billion at the global box office and billions more in DVD, television and merchandise sales.

The success of “Deathly Hallows” underscores just how big a hole Warner, owned by Time Warner, will have to fill once the series ends, box office analysts said.

The weekend was also big for “Tron: Legacy,” the forthcoming Walt Disney Studios release; that picture’s final trailer played before “Deathly Hallows” in a push by Disney to attract the broadest audience possible for the science-fiction adventure, which arrives in theaters on Dec. 17 after three years of marketing.

That pre-Christmas weekend promises to bring one of the more brutal box office battles of the year. Typically, rival studios would steer clear of a release as enormous as “Tron: Legacy.” But “Yogi Bear” (Warner), the James L. Brooks comedy “How Do You Know” (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and “The Fighter” (Paramount Pictures) will all enter the marketplace or expand to wide release on Dec. 17, setting up an intense showdown going into the crucial Christmas holiday.

DreamWorks Animation’s “Megamind” was second at the box office last weekend, selling about $16.2 million in North America in its third week in theaters for a new domestic total of $109.5 million, according to, which compiles ticketing statistics. “Unstoppable,” a thriller about a runaway train, from 20th Century Fox, was third, with $13.1 million in its second week for a new total of about $42 million.

The Warner comedy “Due Date,” in its third week, was fourth with $9.2 million for a new total of $72.7 million.

Cigarette Giants in Global Fight on Tighter Rules AND Graphic images to help US smokers quit Monday, Nov 15 2010 

Cigarette Giants in Global Fight on Tighter Rules

Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters

Workers making cigarettes in East Java in Indonesia. The country has not signed on to the global anti-smoking treaty.

Published: November 13, 2010

As sales to developing nations become ever more important to giant tobacco companies, they are stepping up efforts around the world to fight tough restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes.

Indonesian boys smoke ahead of a soccer match in Jakarta. Indonesia is not a signatory to any global treaty on smoking.

Companies like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco are contesting limits on ads in Britain, bigger health warnings in South America and higher cigarette taxes in the Philippines and Mexico. They are also spending billions on lobbying and marketing campaigns in Africa and Asia, and in one case provided undisclosed financing for TV commercials in Australia.

The industry has ramped up its efforts in advance of a gathering in Uruguay this week of public health officials from 171 nations, who plan to shape guidelines to enforce a global anti-smoking treaty.

This year, Philip Morris International sued the government of Uruguay, saying its tobacco regulations were excessive. World Health Organization officials say the suit represents an effort by the industry to intimidate the country, as well as other nations attending the conference, that are considering strict marketing requirements for tobacco.

Uruguay’s groundbreaking law mandates that health warnings cover 80 percent of cigarette packages. It also limits each brand, like Marlboro, to one package design, so that alternate designs don’t mislead smokers into believing the products inside are less harmful.

The lawsuit against Uruguay, filed at a World Bank affiliate in Washington, seeks unspecified damages for lost profits.

“They’re using litigation to threaten low- and middle-income countries,” says Dr. Douglas Bettcher, head of the W.H.O.’s Tobacco Free Initiative. Uruguay’s gross domestic product is half the size of the company’s $66 billion in annual sales.

Peter Nixon, a vice president and spokesman for Philip Morris International, said the company was complying with every nation’s marketing laws while selling a lawful product for adult consumers.

He said the company’s lawsuits were intended to combat what it felt were “excessive” regulations, and to protect its trademark and commercial property rights.

Cigarette companies are aggressively recruiting new customers in developing nations, Dr. Bettcher said, to replace those who are quitting or dying in the United States and Europe, where smoking rates have fallen precipitously. Worldwide cigarette sales are rising 2 percent a year.

But the number of countries adopting tougher rules, as well as the global treaty, underscore the breadth of the battleground between tobacco and public health interests in legal and political arenas from Latin America to Africa to Asia.

The cigarette companies work together to fight some strict policies and go their separate ways on others. For instance, Philip Morris USA, a division of Altria Group, helped negotiate and supported the anti-smoking legislation passed by Congress last year and did not join a lawsuit filed by R. J. Reynolds, Lorillard and other tobacco companies against the Food and Drug Administration. So far, it is not protesting the agency’s new rules, proposed last week, requiring graphic images with health warnings on cigarette packs.

But Philip Morris International, the separate company spun out of Altria in 2008 to expand the company’s presence in foreign markets, has been especially aggressive in fighting new restrictions overseas.

It has not only sued Uruguay, but also Brazil, arguing that images the government wants to put on cigarette packages do not accurately depict the health effects of smoking and “vilify” tobacco companies. The pictures depict more grotesque health effects than the smaller labels recommended in the United States, including one showing a fetus with the warning that smoking can cause spontaneous abortion.

In Ireland and Norway, Philip Morris subsidiaries are suing over prohibitions on store displays.

In Australia, where the government announced a plan that would require cigarettes to be in plain brown or white packaging to make them less attractive to buyers, a Philip Morris official directed an opposition media campaign during the federal elections last summer, according to documents obtained by an Australian television program, and later obtained by The New York Times.

The $5 million campaign, purporting to come from small store owners, was also partly financed by British American and Imperial Tobacco. The Philip Morris official approved strategies, budgets, ad buys and media interviews, according to the documents.

Mr. Nixon, the spokesman, said Philip Morris made no secret of its financing of that effort. “We have helped them, not controlled them,” he said.

Mr. Nixon said Philip Morris agreed that smoking was harmful and supported “reasonable” regulations where none exist.

“The packages definitely need health warnings, but they’ve got to be a reasonable size,” he said. “We thought 50 percent was reasonable. Once you take it up to 80 percent, there’s no space for trademarks to be shown. We thought that was going too far.”

These days in courts around the world, the tobacco giants find themselves on the defensive far more than playing offense. The W.H.O. and its treaty encourage governments and individuals to take legal action against cigarette corporations, which have encountered growing numbers of lawsuits from smokers and health care systems in Brazil, Canada, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Poland and Turkey.

But in other parts of the world, notably Indonesia, the fifth-largest cigarette market, which has little regulation, tobacco companies market their products in ways that are prohibited elsewhere. In Indonesia, cigarette ads run on TV and before movies; billboards dot the highways; companies appeal to children through concerts and sports events; cartoon characters adorn packages; and stores sell to children.

Officials in Indonesia say they depend on tobacco jobs, as well as revenue from excise taxes on cigarettes. Indonesia gets some $2.5 billion a year from Philip Morris International alone.

“In the U.S., they took down billboards, agreed not to sponsor music events, no longer use the Marlboro cowboy,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “They now do all of those things overseas.”

The world’s second-biggest private cigarette maker, British American Tobacco, with $4.4 billion profits on $23 billion sales in the year ending June 30, is spending millions of dollars lobbying against anti-smoking health measures, like smoke-free air policies in the European Union.

A video on the company’s Web site says some of the proven methods of reducing smoking — like taxes and display bans — encourage a black market in cigarettes and that, in turn, would finance drug, sex and weapons traffickers and terrorists.

The six-minute video, in which actors play gangsters, one with an Eastern European accent, concludes, “Only the criminals benefit.”

The conference beginning on Monday in Punta del Este, Uruguay, will try to add specific terms to a public health treaty known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which since 2003 has been ratified by 171 nations. It would eventually oblige its parties to impose tighter controls on tobacco ingredients, packaging and marketing, expand cessation programs and smoke-free spaces and raise taxes — proven tactics against smoking.

President George W. Bush signed the treaty in 2004 but did not send it to the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is needed for ratification. President Obama hopes to submit it to the Senate next year, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

One recommendation drawing fire from tobacco farmers would either restrict or prohibit the use of popular additives, like licorice and chocolate, to blended tobacco products that account for more than half of worldwide sales.

The International Tobacco Growers’ Association says that could threaten the makers of burley tobacco, an air-cured leaf that has long been sweetened with additives, costing millions of farmers their jobs and devastating economies worldwide.

“We all know the real objective here is to eliminate tobacco consumption,” says Roger Quarles, a Kentucky grower and president of the association.

Aubrey Belford contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 14, 2010

An earlier version of this article made an incorrect reference to Uruguay’s gross domestic profit rather than its gross domestic product.


Graphic images to help US smokers quit

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington

Published: November 10 2010 19:16 | Last updated: November 10 2010 19:16

Cigarette smokers in the US will be subjected to graphic reminders of the ill effects of the habit – including images on cigarette packs of a corpse in the morgue and a cancer patient in hospital – as part of a strategy by the Obama administration to get people to quit.

A proposal unveiled on Wednesday would require tobacco companies to include one of nine new graphic images and warning statements on cigarette packs. The administration said the move represented the most significant change to hit cigarette advertising in 25 years.

“When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes,” said Margaret Hamburg, the top commissioner at the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Hamburg said the proposal was a “concrete example” of how the FDA’s new oversight of the tobacco industry, mandated by a law passed in 2009, would benefit public health.

Research has shown graphic images are “very effective” in anti-smoking campaigns, according to Lois Biener, a senior research fellow at the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Survey Research.

Ms Biener said a similar Canadian programme showed that, even when individuals sought to cover up the warnings by keeping their cigarettes in cases, for example, they were still more motivated to quit than people not exposed to graphic images. Research showed that the most effective images were also the most graphic and disturbing.

The FDA appears to have kept that in mind in designing some of the proposed labels. Other images in contention include two sets of lungs – one healthy and pink and another ravaged by smoking – as well as a stark image of man lying in an open coffin next to the words “Smoking can kill you”. Under US law, cigarette makers have to include written warning labels on cigarette packs, but not graphic images.

Philip Morris, the cigarette maker, said it supported several initiatives cited by the Health and Human Services Department regarding tobacco and planned to “actively participate” in the FDA’s packaging proposal.

The public has been invited to post comments about 36 proposed images, nine of which will be chosen by the FDA in June and implemented in September 2012.

UK remains a target for world’s retailers Monday, Nov 15 2010 

UK remains a target for world’s retailers

By Andrea Felsted, Retail Correspondent

Published: November 15 2010 01:59 | Last updated: November 15 2010 01:59

The UK is set to remain a target market for overseas retailers, as store groups ramp up their expansion plans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa amid increasing confidence, according to a property consultancy.

CB Richard Ellis (an investment management company, also known as CBRE) said confidence had returned to retailers in the EMEA region, with more groups intending to extend their store networks next year.

It found that 77 per cent of the retailers surveyed were planning to open more than five stores in the EMEA region by the end of next year. This is a significant increase from 12 months ago, when half of the retailers intended to open less than five stores this year.

More than half of the retailers surveyed intended to open between one and 20 stores, with the average at about 30 stores.

“Intentions are much greater for 2011 than they were for 2010,” said Peter Gold, head of cross-border retail, EMEA, at CBRE.

The supermarket sector is set to be the most active, followed by coffee and restaurant chains, as well as the value and denim fashion sector.

CBRE found that 28 per cent of mid-range fashion retailers are aiming to open 30 or more stores in 2011, higher than the 16 per cent reported a year earlier.

Germany is the most popular country for expansion given its populous cities. Retailers are also eyeing Poland, France and Spain, where property is more affordable.

The UK is the fifth most popular market, with 29 per cent of the retailers surveyed targeting the country.

A number of overseas retailers, including Coach, the US handbag and accessories retailer, Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie chain, and young fashion groups Forever 21, and Vero Moda are expanding in the UK.

Mr Gold said overseas retailers used the UK as a “stepping stone to broader international [expansion]”. A presence in the UK also provided retailers with “international credibility”. “Everyone has a plan for the UK,” he added.

However, retailers are also eyeing emerging EMEA markets, which accounted for more than half of the top 20 target cities.

CBRE found that retailers preferred to consolidate and expand into new cities in countries where they already have a presence, instead of entering new markets.