In our modern world, dead celebrities
are big business. We see them on the television, on billboards, their names plastered all over everything from wine to clothing
. Among the perennial stars of the annual Forbes top earning dead celebrities list
is Marilyn Monroe
(she didn't make the top 10 in 2010 but she's still in the running). The iconic blonde, whose photos, lingerie and other personal effects continue to sell high at auction, is, nearly 50 years after her death, still a viable brand. So did Authentic Brands (a company which also handles Bob Marley's estate) and Neca, an entertainment licensing company make a smart move picking up the rights to Marilyn's name? It seems like a wise investment. She may be the top female dead celebrity
brand at this point.
The Financial Times reports
that the new owners have big plans for Marilyn in the wake of acquiring her name from Anna Strasberg, the administrator of the estate. The terms were not disclosed but it could be as much as $30 million. Marilyn Monroe's name is estimated to have earned between $4 and $5 million last year but the potential for monetizing her name is far greater. Tentative plans include lines of lingerie, curling irons and handbags
. BusinessWeek says
that there may even be a reality show in which contestants compete for the right to represent the Monroe brand.