Beth Bornhurst is used to working with characters ones with names like the Pink Panther and James Bond.

In her new position as senior vice president of merchandising and business development for MGM Consumer Products, Bornhurst will be working with plenty of characters.

“We are in the process of expanding our licensing efforts on a worldwide basis and working closely with agents to develop more characters like the Pink Panther and (those in the movie) ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven,'” Bornhurst said.

Merchandise emblazoned with the MGM logo is currently for sale at the studio store, but Bornhurst intends to get the products into a variety of retail stores and to increase the cast of characters already licensed by MGM.

MGM Consumer Products is a division of the newly merged MGM Home Entertainment/Consumer Products Group, whose business is growing at a fast pace, according to Bornhurst.

“Essentially, we are relaunching the entire division to tie in with the rebirth of MGM,” Bornhurst said.

In her new position, Bornhurst has been involved in developing a Web site that will not only be an information site, but will have movie-related merchandise for sale.

“We will have products to sell to customers who are loyal to a particular movie or series, like James Bond,” she said.

Bornhurst gained recognition as a marketing pioneer by introducing infomercials as a tool in feature film marketing campaigns. She received industry honors for using an infomercial to promote “Goldeneye,” the most recent James Bond film.

“There are lots of great promotional tie-ins that are in production at this time for the Christmas release of ‘Tomorrow Never Dies,’ the next Bond film,” Bornhurst said.

Prior to joining MGM, Bornhurst was vice president of sales for Live Home Video. She also held management positions with Walden Book Co., where she oversaw retail sales of non-book-related items at the chain’s stores, development of the frequent-buyer program and expanding the mail order division. She began her career as a video buyer for Publishers Central Bureau.

Julie Sable

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