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Articles from 2020 In November

Rockpool Licensing Strikes ‘The Baby Club’ Deal with Poetic Brands


Poetic Brands has announced a new partnership with Rockpool Licensing for hit live-action series, “The Baby Club.”

The new collection is set to include layette and fashion daywear along with nightwear, snow suits, sleeping bags, accessories, towels and changing bags inspired by the bright colors and interactive focus of “The Baby Club.”

“’The Baby Club’ has bonding and interactivity at the heart of the show,” says Vickie O’Malley, managing director, Rockpool Licensing. “Poetic Brands is doing an amazing job of incorporating these values carefully into their design and their skill is helping us to realize beautiful babywear that makes the most of every interaction with baby, whatever the time of day.”

The brand also diversified over the past year with a “Baby Club at Home” series during lockdown, a parenting podcast, commissioned by the BBC and hosted by Jennie McAlpine, a book series, and an album of “The Baby Club” greatest hits. 2021 will also see the launch of “The Toddler Club at Home” and “Baby Bear and Me,” an interactive, baby-facing podcast, hosted by Giovanna Fletcher and Nigel Clarke. “’The Baby Club’ has been an incredible project to work on to date,” says Anne Bradford, director, Poetic Brands. “The engagement for this pre-lockdown was huge and the subsequent lift in engagement is off the scale which bodes well for its activation at retail. We are working on truly immersive product ranges encouraging parents to interact with their babies and continue the messaging of the show.”

Bulldog Licensing Adds Truffle Shuffle to Holly Hobbie Program


Bulldog Licensing has expanded its licensing program for the Holly Hobbie brand by adding Truffle Shuffle while renewing the retailer’s deal for one of Cloudco Entertainment’s other iconic brands – the Care Bears.

The Holly Hobbie property was originally introduced in 1967 when the American author sold artwork of the rag dress-wearing, cat-loving, little girl with a huge bonnet to American Greetings. The character quickly became popular and the first licensed product came to the market in the form of a line of rag dolls from Knickerbocker Toys in 1975, followed by a myriad of licensed goods in other categories including crafts, apparel,  lifestyle, publishing, stationary, dinnerware, home goods and more. The Holly Hobbie property has since generated more than $1 billion in retail sales.  The new collection for Holly Hobbie includes limited-edition t-shirts, mugs and tote bags based on the classic greetings card character from the 1960s.

Bulldog Licensing manages the rights for the brand in the U.K. and Eire and is building a program around the classic artwork targeting adults, as well as a live-action, music-driven children’s program, based on the popular new show on CBBC soon to be in production on its third season.

“We’re thrilled to have Truffle Shuffle on board for Holly Hobbie as we build a licensing program for this much-loved brand,” says Rob Corney, managing director, Bulldog Licensing. “They have already done a fabulous job with the Care Bears collection, and we are delighted with the new lines for Holly Hobbie. The brand has beautiful artwork, an instantly recognizable design and huge vintage appeal for today’s audience.”

Chupa Chups Fashion Collab Gets Romantic


Chupa Chups has teamed up with the Korean fashion company Romantic Crown, to develop a collection of apparel and accessories for young adults. 

The collection reflects the identity of both brands. Checked, striped or basic prints on jackets, hoodies, jumpers, hats, bags, key rings with the signature and style of RMTC while featuring the Chupa Chups icons in a retro mood. The union of the two brands makes the product casual and classic at the same time.

“We are very happy with this collaboration,” says Marta Ballesteros, licensing area manager, Chupa Chups. “Romantic Crown is a unique partner that has succeeded perfectly in catching and mixing the identity of each brand, combining and harmonizing Romantic Crown’s classic and sophisticated mood with Chupa Chups' famous brand icons”.

The Chupa Chups collection is being sold in all Romantic Crown shops across Asia. It adds to Chupa Chups growing list of licensed apparel deals which includes partnerships with Heelys and Riva.

Banijay Brands, Vignobles Bardet Toast to ‘Peaky Blinders’ Wine


Banijay Brands, in partnership with official “Peaky Blinders” brand owner and producer, Caryn Mandabach Productions, has announced the launch of the first official “Peaky Blinders” wine.

French vineyard Vignobles Bardet has created two red wines, a Saint-Emilion and a Saint- Emilion Grand Cru for the series. The offerings are set to give buyers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of the hit drama.

“In Vignobles Bardet we have found an established and creative partner to create an authentic product, which is perfectly suited to the ‘Peaky Blinders’ brand,” says Jane Smith, group director, Banijay Brands. “This collaboration has created two fine reds that will give fans an authentic taste of the 1920s in the very style that would be shared at the Shelby table.”

The wine will initially be available in France but is available for export via local distributors in key markets across Europe and Asia.

“It’s easy to imagine a character like Thomas Shelby importing his own wine from our great-great-grandfather Jean Roy on the prestigious Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux and we believe these reds are exactly what he would have chosen,” says Thibault Bardet, Vignobles Bardey. “We are extremely proud to produce a product that captures the true essence of ‘Peaky Blinders.’”

The wine collection adds to “Peaky Blinders” growing licensed goods portfolio. Earlier this year, a quiz book and homewares were announced for the series.

Licensing Post-Lockdown: Cinemas and 24/7 Shopping Coming to the U.K.


To say retail has faced its most challenging year to date is nothing short of an understatement. But, in the U.K. – where retail thrived online for the predominant percentage of the year – the end of the new lockdown and the subsequent return of a regional tier system may bring an influx of shoppers back to stores this festive season. 

The latest announcement from the U.K. government has provided a potential bolster for retail as stores will be allowed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week across December and January (The Telegraph). 

For a full insight into our Black Friday predictive breakdown, click here. 

This relaxation of rules by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick expedites the permission process of extended opening hours, allows councils to waive restrictions and provides both major and independent retailers with the chance to recoup their losses over Christmas and during the ‘January Sales’ period.  

With much of the U.K. classified as Tier 2 – a restriction of residential gatherings, alcohol sales restricted to meal servings and a limit to outdoor meetings – retail is fortunately exempt from these terms and will be allowed to operate, safely, at their own hours with permission from local councils.  

This, of course, is also a bolster of consumer confidence; with much of the U.K. now able to easily avoid crowds at hours of their choosing. 

Thanks to the three-tier system, an additional opportunity has arisen for another sector hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic: cinemas, theatres and experiential entertainment. Cities and towns under Tier 2 (i.e., London and Liverpool), are allowed to re-open cinemas and bring people back to the big screen after streaming dominated the entertainment sector in 2020 (Variety). 

With lockdown lifting on Dec. 2 – subject to a review on Dec. 16 – retail and cinemas are due to make a return this Christmas and be provided a much-needed shot in the arm for consumer activity this year.

The License Global December Issue is coming, and we’re taking a look at the biggest gifts of the year for an in-depth breakdown of the must-have toys and products across the world. Stay tuned for more. 

Finsbury, Diageo Bring Back Baileys Yule Log


Finsbury Food Group and Diageo have brought back the Christmas classic Baileys Yule Log, along with two additional treats in its annual festive range. 

The desserts include the Baileys Yule Log, Baileys Salted Caramel cupcakes and new Baileys Chocolate Treat Blondie bars. All three festive treats will be available to buy in Asda. The Baileys Yule Log is also available in Co-op, Sainsburys and Tesco, the Baileys Salted Caramel cupcakes are available in Tesco, and the Chocolate Treat Blondie bars are in Tesco and Co-op. 

“We’ve established a great partnership with the Baileys brand, and some of our most-loved collaborations are part of our renowned annual Christmas range,” says Jack Cook-Broussine, brand manager, Finsbury Food Group.” This year we have it all, pocket-sized Chocolate Treat Blondie bars for consumers to enjoy in the buildup to the festive period, the at-home family party must haves in the cupcakes, and the Yule Log, a staple centerpiece for the Christmas dinner table. After all, what is Christmas without Baileys?”

Baileys products will be joined in 2021 by a baking industry-first partnership with Diageo’s Gordon’s Gin brand. Both products come following the announcement of a Bailey’s inspired cake from Finsbury last September.

“We love working with Finsbury on our delicious Baileys range to bring adults new and exciting ways to enjoy the Baileys brand,” says Declan Hassett, senior licensing manager, Diageo. “I just love the mini cupcakes and treat bars, there’s always a moment to fit a bit of Baileys indulgence into your day, no matter what the occasion.” 

Vogue Café Opens in Beijing


Vogue Café Beijing has opened its doors as Condé Nast’s first branded property venture in China.

Located at the China World Mall in the Chaoyang District in central Beijing, the Café sits among luxury flagship stores. The area brings together local and international visitors, with a mixture of retail, office spaces, hotels and residential places.

The Café opens under a licensing agreement with Beijing Sycamore Seed Advertising & Media Co. It forms part of a wider partnership with future Café openings planned in Shanghai in 2021.

“Beijing’s rich culture and long history paired with the constantly evolving restaurant scene makes it one of the most enticing cities in China, which is why Condé Nast is thrilled to open the country’s first Vogue Café in the capital,” says Markus Grindel, managing director, global brand licensing, Condé Nast. “Vogue Café Beijing will bring luxury fashion and high-end cuisine together – an experience sure to enchant both local and visiting epicures.”

Vogue Café Beijing features two dining rooms and a feature cocktail bar spread over 400 sq. meters. In keeping with Vogue Cafés globally, images and covers from the archives of Vogue adorn the walls, including iconic shots from the world’s most renowned models and photographers.

Joining Vogue Café Beijing as head chef is Jack Yao. Having formally trained in Italy and Singapore, Yao’s exclusive menu blends influences from Italian and Asian cuisine. Vogue Café Beijing will be open seven days a week, between 10AM and 10PM. The Café also operates a full home delivery service. 

Vogue Café Beijing joins Condé Nast’s portfolio of branded properties under its global licensing division. Other Condé Nast restaurants around the world include Vogue Cafés in Kiev, Moscow, Porto and Riyadh, Vogue Lounge Kuala Lumpur, Vogue Restaurant Istanbul and GQ Bar Berlin. 

Condé Nast has published its media titles in China for nearly 15 years, having launched Vogue China in 2005. Today, Condé Nast China publishes titles including Vogue, Vogue Film, Vogue Me, GQ, GQ Lab, GQ Style, Condé Nast Traveler and Architectural Digest, under copyright cooperation with partners.

The Licensing Mixtape: An Historic Year Through the Lens of Smiley

Smiley Podcast.png

Good news has been in short supply in 2020. With COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, the challenges of this year have been widespread and trying for everyone. As we have lived through today's headlines in real-time, people have been clinging to positivity in the face of uncertainty. One brand that has been consistently providing positivity for nearly 50 years is Smiley. In the latest Licensing Mixtape podcast, Matt Winton, global head of partnerships, Smiley, shares how the brand has become more critical than ever some five decades since its introduction to the world.

"For me, were a manifestation of what lockdown did to people – it made them think more creatively than they've ever thought," says Winton during the podcast. "It challenged them to disrupt ways that they've done things in the past, and it goes back to this amazing resiliency of [the human] race. We can find such creativity in dark times, and I think that's what Smiley symbolizes – it is symbolic of creativity in difficult times."

During this far-reaching interview, Winton highlighted the power of positive and socially conscious brands in 2020 and beyond. He also detailed how Smiley's brand's crucial core has served as its guiding light and so much of its success.

Want to learn more? Hear the full interview in the latest episode of "The Licensing Mixtape," and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySoundCloud or Spotify.

‘The Power of Licensing’ Book Sees Cyber Monday Deal


The American Bar Association’s publishing group is offering a discount on the “The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity” this Cyber Monday, Nov.30, with the discount code CYBER 2020.

During this one-day sale, customers will receive 40 percent off and free ground shipping on all orders that use the code. The discount works for all formats including hard cover and e-book. The book looks at exciting, new and emerging ways that brand extension licensing can be used to achieve specific brand objectives, illustrated by stories of how some iconic brands have done it well and why they have used licensing. 

“In ‘The Power of Licensing,’ Michael Stone brings together in a single volume all that anyone needs to know about the why, how and when of brand licensing,” says Len Schlesinger, Baker Foundation professor, Harvard Business School and former vice chairman and chief operating officer, Limited (now L) Brands. “His over 30 years of direct experience are evident on every page. The book will certainly become a true gift on the desk of every thoughtful brand executive!”

The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity can be purchased here on the ABA’s e-store.

‘44 Cats’ Lands Pawesome Deal on Amazon


Black Friday is approaching, and 2020 will award “44 Cats” fans with special deals on the “44 Cats Amazon” official store.

The original multi-territory initiative will be online from Nov. 27 to 29 in Italy and U.K., and early December in France. 

An exclusive Cat Friday will be hosted on the official Amazon store of the brand and “44 Cats” only for three days, in a dedicated section with a wide choice of products. A real one-time opportunity to involve children in many different games and have fun at home. 

The online store is accessible from the “44 Cats” official page.