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B’casters branching out

Argentina's hit skeins provide material to market

BUENOS AIRES — With ad spending down as much as 70%, Argentina’s TV broadcasters and producers are turning to cosmetics, music and the theater for revenue to survive the economic crisis.

Grupo Clarin’s Artear-Canal 13, the second-ranked broadcaster, has hooked up with independent producers to turn hit soap “Son amores” (They Are Lovers) and popular midday magazine show “Mariana de casa” (Mariana at Home) into plays.

“When you find something that people want to buy, you have to make the most of it,” said Alfonso Rodriguez Saumell, marketing manager of “Mariana” producer GP Prods.

RGB Entertainment, another independent producer, and fourth-ranked Azul Television, controlled by local businessman Daniel Hadad, are doing just that with Bandana, the band formed from reality skein “Popstars” last year.

Bandana bounty

The companies are bringing in revenue from a second album and concert-run of the five-girl group, and from licensing and merchandising deals. Bandana now adorns cosmetic products, party paraphernalia and stationery supplies and has its own magazine.

What’s more, Azul and RGB have nabbed sponsorship dollars from advertisers, including Pepsi, keen to associate their products with Bandana and reach the group’s large fan base.

First-ranked Telefe, a unit of Telefonica’s Admira, is seeking similar marketing success from a boy-band version of “Popstars,” launched July 3 and co-produced with RGB.

Once the band is formed, the companies aim to roll out related businesses over the next few years, helping extend the inflow of revenue, said Gonzalo Cilley, brand manager of Telefe.

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