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OpSec Security and CMG Worldwide Selected to Launch Authentication Program

I LOVE NEW YORK, one of the world's most iconic brands, has launched a new authentication program to protect its brand and legitimate brand licensees from the onslaught of unlicensed and counterfeit I LOVE NEW YORK products in the marketplace.  The protection program consists of accompanying officially licensed products with new hologram hang tags and labels, which serve as marks of integrity and control counterfeiting.  OpSec Security, Inc., a global leader in anti-counterfeiting and brand protection solutions, and CMG Worldwide, a premier licensing company representing celebrity legends and prized brands, is partnering with I LOVE NEW YORK in the authentication program.  The I LOVE NEW YORK campaign and brand, managed by Empire State Development (ESD), were launched in 1977 to promote tourism and travel for New York State.  In May 2008, ESD relaunched the I LOVE NEW YORK campaign to reinvigorate the premier travel brand, nationally and internationally, and further promote tourism in New York State.  Today's announcement is the latest component of the brand relaunch. ESD President and CEO Marisa Lago said, "The primacy of the I LOVE NEW YORK brand is in no small part due to the millions of visitors who purchase officially licensed merchandise that bears the campaign's iconic logo.  As part of the relaunch, I LOVE NEW YORK began positioning the brand with contemporary products that go well beyond basic souvenirs.  As a result of improving the quality and quantity of official I LOVE NEW YORK merchandise, licensing revenues increased by 70% in 2008-2009." At its heart, the authentication program serves to further increase revenues and protect the brand as a valuable asset for New York State.  Additional steps have been taken by I LOVE NEW YORK to protect the brand, such as the development of "brand guidelines" that aid partners in using the brand's logo in a consistent manner, thereby increasing awareness of and helping to cement an emotional connection with audiences. "As part of our relaunch strategy, we are making a strong effort to protect our license and take a tough stance against brand infringements.  Unfortunately, the success of the I LOVE NEW YORK brand has brought on an overwhelming proliferation of counterfeit merchandise, which takes away market share from our legitimate licensed partners.  The I LOVE NEW YORK authentication program allows us to fight counterfeits and protect the revenues of our authorized licensees," said Thomas Ranese, Chief Marketing Officer for ESD. "Over the years, I LOVE NEW YORK has become one of the most recognized tourism brands in the world and is widely popular with visitors to New York State.  Like many respected brands, counterfeiters have exploited consumers looking for I LOVE NEW YORK souvenirs.  We are proud to provide an anti-counterfeiting solution that enables consumers to easily identify genuine I LOVE NEW YORK merchandise from low quality fakes," said Jeffrey Unger, President, Brand Protection, OpSec Security. "As the licensing agent for the I LOVE NEW YORK brand, we are delighted to partner with OpSec Security to develop and implement an overall brand protection strategy.  It is clear that we need to take action to protect the integrity of I LOVE NEW YORK merchandise from counterfeits.  The authentication program brings substantial benefits to consumers, authorized licensees and the state of New York," said Samira Ali, Brand Manager, CMG Worldwide.

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About ESD Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency.  ESD also oversees the marketing of "I LOVE NEW YORK," the State's iconic tourism brand.  For more information, visit http://www.nylovesbiz.com/ and http://www.iloveny.com/.  Media can find tourism-related press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com. About OpSec OpSec Security, Inc. is a wholly-owned division of OpSec Security Group plc (London AIM: OSG). OpSec Security is the global leader in providing anti-counterfeiting technologies as well as solutions and services for physical and online brand protection to over 250 companies across industry sectors and over 50 governments worldwide. The Group operates manufacturing facilities and laboratories in the USA and the UK, and has sales operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please see www.opsecsecurity.com, or contact Terri Mock, +1 617-226-3000 x3075, or tmock@opsecsecurity.com. About CMG Worldwide CMG Worldwide is a premiere licensing and brand management company representing some of the most iconic brands and personalities in the entertainment, sports, music, historical, and corporate arenas. Clients include globally famous brands such as I LOVE NEW YORK, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Twain and many others. For more information, please visit http://www.cmgworldwide.com/, or contact Samira Ali at +1 310-651-2000 or samira@cmgworldwide.com. Contact: Warner Johnston Empire State Development (212) 803-3740 wjohnston@empire.state.ny.us