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USAToday reports this morning that Procter & Gamble has signed a deal to license the Olay trademark to a vitamin manufacturer, signaling its desire to become a licensing heavyweight on the scale of Walt Disney.

Sales of products using licensed P&G trademarks or technologies reached $2 billion in 2002. A typical licensing deal will give a royalty on sales, typically in the 8.5 percent range.

Procter currently licenses such names as Mr. Clean, Pantene, and Iams -- all to manufacturers of products that can build on those brands’ equity in the marketplace.

"We're approaching it brand by brand," A.G. Lafley, P&G’s CEO, told USAToday. "We try to only select products that enhance the brand."

The goal isn’t just financial, according to Lafley. The practice allows the company to build additional brand equity for familiar names, which makes it harder for competitors to make inroads on P&G’s businesses.
KC's View:
For the record, we’re perfectly willing to license out the MorningNewsBeat name and brand to any company that makes us an offer. We’ll use all the marketing power at our disposal to help build sales and equity for any company that’s interested…