Rita Ferro Named Executive VP of Disney Media Sales and Marketing

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Rita Ferro, an executive with a strong track record in advertising sales and promotions, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Disney Media Sales and Marketing, effective June 28. Ms. Ferro will relocate to New York from Miami, where she’s been an integral part of Disney and ESPN’s Latin America business since 1997. She succeeds Tricia Wilber who was recently named Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In her new role, Ferro will lead the integrated sales team that represents and maximizes advertising sales, marketing and promotions across The Walt Disney Company’s media platforms serving kids, moms and families, including its kid-driven, family inclusive TV channels, its wide-range of online offerings, its mom-focused publishing business, and its kid- and mom-focused radio platform. The portfolio, consists of Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney (soon to re-brand to Disney Junior), plus over 20 Disney Online properties serving kids, families and/or women including Disney.com, DisneyFamily.com, DisneyChannel.com, RadioDisney.com, Kaboose.com and FamilyFun.com, among others.

Ferro will report to three business unit leaders – Carolina Lightcap, president, Disney Channels Worldwide; Paul Yanover, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Disney Online, and Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Ms. Lightcap said, “Rita has a great reputation in the advertising community and a strong background in generating strategic opportunities for diverse clients in a dynamic multichannel, multi-brand business.” She continued, “I am excited to be working closely with her again, and know our integrated ad sales team stands to benefit enormously from her keen insights, strong relationships and leadership skills.”

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Disney’s Toontown Online Ups the Silly Ante When Street Objects Come to Life

Ian McShane being interviewed by MTV For the first time ever, Disney’s Toontown Online fun-filled virtual world is getting even sillier!  Due to high amounts of Toon-generated mayhem, the rising silly levels are making objects on the street come alive. Juggling trash cans, pie-delivering mailboxes and cheering fire hydrants are helping those zany Toons play sillier-than-ever gags on the evil robot Cogs. It’s history in the making!

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Disney Online’s Pixie Hollow Announces Animal Friends for Member Fairies (Video)

There’s a hush in Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow virtual world this month as the new Animal Friends are fluttering about in the meadows. Every baby Animal Friend needs a Fairy to help them grow. From fireflies and ladybugs to hummingbirds and dragonflies, there’s a baby animal perfect for every Fairy.

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First Look: Disney Online’s World of Cars, Plus News for Other Disney MMOs

Earlier today I had the opportunity to visit Disney Online at the International Toy Fair in New York City and got a preview at Disney’s newest massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, The World of Cars in addition to some of the new and not-yet-released enhancements to Disney Online’s other worlds.

Sharing a lot in common with the Club Penguin model, the World of Cars is completely Adobe Flash-based. This means there are no downloads required aside from the common plug-in that most folks should already have. Although I probably should know better than to be impressed to how the game has been implemented inside the Flash engine, I still am. The game looks very appealing with a great heads-up display (HUD) loaded with information and controls while still leaving plenty of room for the actual gameplay.

As you might imagine, you will assume the role of a car in Radiator Springs. The action in the game takes place after the first movie — Lightning returns to the sleepy town after winning the Piston Cup and has set up shop in the middle of Downtown Radiator Springs. Throughout the game, you’ll encounter all of your favorite characters from the film with all new original dialogue as recorded by the original actors with exception to Owen Wilson (Lightning), Paul Newman (Doc Hudson) and George Carlin (Fillmore), the latter two having passed away prior to the studio work. For those three, Disney has brought in soundalikes who do a really good job at filling in some rather large tires.

Meeting the characters, who are non-player characters (NPCs), meaning they’re automatic and interaction is quite limited, you’ll often find a yellow exclamation point over their heads. This means they want to talk to you and might even have a job for you. Performing jobs for the characters will yield you rewards, often being money and additional jobs.

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Disney and Xbox 360 Offer Opportunity for One Fan to go Head-to-Head with Jonas Brothers

Disney Media Sales and Marketing and Xbox 360 have teamed with pop culture powerhouse the Jonas Brothers to star in a national campaign for Xbox 360 called “It’s More Fun Time.” The campaign is seen across multiple Disney platforms including Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Kids, Disney Online and Family.com’s “Get Plugged In” video portal, which provides families with information on internet safety for kids.

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Disney Online Launches ‘The Possibility Shop,’ Web Site Featuring Original Web Series from The Jim Henson Company and Sponsored Exclusively by The Clorox Company

The Possibility Shop from Jim Henson Studios, Disney and CloroxNORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Disney Online, part of the Disney Interactive Media Group, launched a new Web site featuring an original video series from The Jim Henson Company called “The Possibility Shop” (www.FamilyFun.com/PossibilityShop). The site, which can be accessed through Disney.com or FamilyFun.com, also features an array of ideas for family-friendly art projects and activities and will update every two weeks with new seasonal or holiday-based content. “The Possibility Shop” is exclusively sponsored by The Clorox Company for its Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster, Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and toilet-cleaning products.

The new site appeals to a broad family audience, tapping into the content and audience reach of both Disney.com and FamilyFun.com. The site will offer a variety of unique themes including Thanksgiving, the holidays, winter activities, party planning, big game day (sports), Valentine’s Day, pets, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day, Spring, Earth Day and Mother’s Day, among others.

“This is a great example of how Disney Online can create original content that uniquely appeals to families, and particularly moms,” stated Paul Yanover, executive vice president and managing director, Disney Online. “’The Possibility Shop’ places high-quality original video in an immersive online environment filled with art projects and activities as well as ideas for families to take the fun offline to find their own adventures.”

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