Toy Association Picks Blue Plate

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The Toy Industry Association tapped Blue Plate Media Services to develop an affinity program to offer discounted media to member companies.

The Summit, NJ, and New York agency presented the idea to presidents and CEOs of toy companies at ToyCon, the association's trade show for its more than 400 members. There was no agency review.

"Other than the top 1 percent to 2 percent of member companies by sales, such as Hasbro and Mattel, there are many small to midsized companies looking for smarter media," said Adam Batt, senior vice president and partner of media operations at Blue Plate. "They want to make an impact in their market, but can't always afford to within their budgets. With us, they can compete and impact the market for less."

The Toy Industry Association business comes soon after Blue Plate was named the preferred media agency for Leading Hotels of the World, a group of more than 440 international hotels.

The benefits include full access to various media planning and buying services at Blue Plate. Some members may prefer discounted rates in all media. Others may also want merchandising, added value and better placement and positioning. Blue Plate offers media in magazines, newspapers, spot, network and local cable television, spot and network radio, outdoor, direct mail and interactive.

"Most of the toy companies need to see a quick return on their investment," Batt said. "They often have little money and need to make it work. We always stress separate telephone numbers and URLs to ensure proper tracking and buy management.

"The toy industry is changing. Children are exposed to so much more through the media. Age compression -- a concept where children are growing up faster and their interest in the toys they play with is waning -- is an issue that directly affects toy marketers' efforts. Capped with a still struggling economy, many small companies remain scared to spend money. It often seems they're playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win."

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