Even if you haven’t yet seen Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom
Menace, you’ve probably already encountered Jar-Jar Binks, Darth Maul or
Queen Amidala in your local Woolworths, Sainsbury’s, Argos, KFC or Pizza
Retail sales of Star Wars: Episode 1 merchandise from the US chain
Wal-Mart alone are estimated to have rocketed to pounds 333m. Our own
Teletubbies were worth a cool pounds 24.7m to BBC Worldwide last year,
thanks to a series of international licensing, video and publishing
deals. Welcome to the lucrative world of licensing.
According to Licence! magazine, the total global value of licensing in
retail sales is pounds 88bn. In the UK, the licensing industry is worth
around pounds 5bn - 16% up on 1995’s figures. Yet there are few big
local events where the owners of brands and characters can meet the
people who exploit the associated rights. Most have to trek to the US
every June for the mammoth New York Licensing Show.
This year sees the launch of the first Brand and License London ’99
exhibition, a two-day event running from September 21-22 at London’s
Leysa Kay, event director at organising company Single Market Events,
says the boom in licensing throughout Europe, particularly in brand
extensions, reinforced the need for a UK industry event.
’Our research has shown licensors, licensees and retailers desperately
need a high-profile, business-led event which brings together all
sectors of the industry. The show looks at ways to extend and strengthen
your brands, and merchandising is a powerful way to do that,’ she
Big name licensors such as BBC Worldwide (Teletubbies, Wallace and
Gromit), Link Licensing (Barbie, Natural History Museum), Britt Allcroft
(Thomas the Tank Engine, Captain Pugwash) and Leisure Concepts (James
Bond 007, Nintendo) are among the 50 exhibitors hoping to form alliances
at the event. Others will showcase new properties.
Single Market Events is attracting buyers from three key market sectors:
retailers, in the form of product buyers and character co-ordinators,
and licensees who actually manufacture the licensed products within
specific market sectors including toys, gifts, fashion, food and
The third sector is advertising and sales promotion agencies, including
marketing consultants and mail order companies hoping to use the selling
power of a famous brand or character.
Other high-profile exhibitors include London Transport and Carlton
’We tended to go to the Birmingham Toy Fair but it is not focused on the
brand like this is,’ says Rachel Glaister, marketing and press manager
for Carlton International. ’This event is more useful to us because
we’ll get to meet licensees and retailers. Marketing people will also
find it interesting. There is the chance to do any form of
cross-promotion with our brands, from making duvet covers or soft toys
to using them in ads.’
Carlton International will showcase the Mopatops, from the pre-school TV
show Mopatop’s Shop, but the most familiar faces on its stall will
belong to the Thunderbirds.
The company has just secured the rights to Gerry Anderson’s catalogue as
part of its recent acquisition of the Independent Television
Corporation’s film and TV library.
London Transport Museum will also unveil a host of planned new brand
extensions. They include a range of children’s characters, London
Transport tea houses, London Underground coffee houses and an ’urban’
Single Market Events has also lined up a ’Talk Shop’ programme of nine
workshops, tackling everything from how to use a celebrity chef for
endorsements to the effect of new TV channels on the licensing
A good introduction to the licensing industry is The A-Z of Licensing, a
workshop led by Claire Derry, managing director of Link Licensing. Derry
will team up a licensee and retailer to guide newcomers through the
licensing process from selecting the right partner to avoiding legal
pitfalls. Link’s stand will showcase new Barbie fashions, its range of
Lord’s cricket gifts and Teddybears, the ITV children’s series with
merchandising links to Harper Collins (books), VCI (videos) and Tex UK
’It’s a good opportunity to showcase our major brands and new properties
to retailers, but I’m also hoping to see more people on the periphery of
licensing, such as brand managers of blue-chip companies, who have
looked at licensing but are not sure where to start,’ says Derry. ’Maybe
they’ll see the relevance of a brand or character to their product.’
Andrew Maconie, managing director of Licensing Management, tackles
sports brand extensions. His company represents The Davis Cup and FIM
Superbike World Championships.
Maconie’s workshop will examine how retailers and licensees can benefit
from event-led tie-ins, legal and practical considerations for team
sports licensing and ways to exploit the booming interactive sports
computer games market.
Mike Hewitt, publisher of Marketing (the event’s official media
sponsor), will chair a workshop on choosing the right promotional
partner. Speakers from Ogilvy & Mather, Eidos and 3D Licensing will
discuss how to maximise a brand’s promotion, using Lara Croft and
Lucozade and the McDonald’s My Little Pony/Action Man campaigns.
- pounds 88bn: The total worldwide value of licensing.
- pounds 4.06bn: The sum licensed products made at retail in the UK last
year, compared with pounds 3.49bn in 1995 (a 16% increase).
- pounds 24.7m: What Teletubbies was worth to BBC Worldwide last year,
in licensing, publishing and video terms.
- pounds 500m: What BBC Worldwide is worth at retail, based on 25 TV-led
- 10%: The amount Angel Delight’s share of the UK instant dessert market
rose after a Wallace and Gromit promotion.
- 70%: The increase in sales of Mr Potato Head products at Woolworths
during Burger King’s advertised promotion which featured the
- pounds 3bn: Worldwide licensing revenue, in retail value, from the
original Star Wars trilogy.
Brand and License London ’99
Landmark Hotel, London
Number of visitors
Number of exhibitors
Licensing and licensing agents
BBC Worldwide, Carlton International, The Britt Allcroft Company, London
Transport, The Copyrights Group, HIT Consumer Products
Eight workshops delivered by licensing industry figures and brand
Opening date and times
September 21-22 1999
To pre-register for complimentary tickets call Lisa de Savary at Single
Market Events (see below). Normal ticket price is pounds 50. Workshops
cost pounds 35 each on the day and pounds 25 if booked in advance.
Lisa de Savary on 0181 948 5522