House calls: Dr. Spock label will be on products
Dr. Benjamin Spock's name lives on in print -- and soon on products.
The book Spock is most famous for, "Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care," is now in its eighth edition and was updated earlier this year by Dr. Robert Needlman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Needlman also is working with Spock's widow, Mary Morgan, to grow an entire company based on Spock's name and philosophies.
There probably will be more books, maybe one on pregnancy and a series of children's picture books. Other likely products are personal care products such as lotions and shampoos; baby food; feeding and nursing accessories; safety products like staircase gates and outlet covers; developmental toys; apparel; and gear, including car seats, strollers and portable cribs.
Needlman and Morgan are working with TippingSprung, a branding firm that counts Timberland and Gillette as clients.
"Mary says he (Spock) always talked about doing a product line, but he just ran out of time," says Peter Makula, director of brand licensing at TippingSprung.
Makula says that Dr. Spock products will fill a void in the market. "Dr. Spock has a legacy and a sense of mission -- and an army of doctors and parents who subscribe to it," he says.
The exact products, which have yet to be selected, will be consistent with Spock's commonsense parenting message, right down to recyclable packing, Makula adds. There also is a panel of doctors that will review any product or partnership that carries the Dr. Spock label, and each package will include a piece of Spock's advice.
"We want to help educate parents about toys and nutrition," Needlman says. "The Dr. Spock label won't be on guns or war toys. We don't want toys that will overstimulate kids but we also want toys that will encourage them to use their instincts."