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“BLE is hugely important and a fantastic platform”

As the show opens its doors at ExCeL, Source asks some key licensors what BLE means to them.

Brand Licensing Europe 2019 officially opens its doors today, with the industry set to head over to the new venue of ExCeL London in their droves to check out the latest brands, trends and developments.

The event – which is marking its 21st anniversary this year and runs from October 1 to October 3 – is a key platform for licensors and agents, as a number exclusively told Source.

“BLE is a core part of our strategy and a fantastic opportunity for us to have conversations with potential partners,” said Julie Kekwick, senior licensing manager at BBC Studios. “It attracts retailers and licensees from across the industry, making it the perfect platform for showcasing our preschool brands, as well as those such as Top Gear, Doctor Who and BBC Earth.”

For WildBrain, the show will be the perfect platform for the company to reinforce the strength of its portfolio as it looks to highlight its position as an industry leader, as commercial director Rachel Taylor explained.

“BLE is a hugely important event for WildBrain as it gives us the opportunity to meet with partners, retailers and key players in the industry across the retail and licensing business all in one place,” she commented. “It’s a fantastic platform for us to showcase our brilliant slate of properties and champion the expanding portfolio of high-quality children’s content we have across our multi-platform network.

“We’ll also be looking to highlight WildBrain’s position as an industry leader in the management and creation of preschool and children’s entertainment content on platforms such as YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and others, can play a crucial role in both launching new brands and maintaining the popularity of existing ones.”

For Mattel, a key focus will be on the heritage and history of its IP at the show.

“BLE is a great opportunity for us to showcase our iconic brands,” said Helen Genia, head of licensing UK and hardlines EMEA consumer products at Mattel. “We have such a strong IP and it’s so important to be able to spotlight these with the industry. With 2020 being such a big year for celebrations across our brands, we’re really looking to spotlight the heritage and history of our IP at the show.”

For Magic Light Pictures, BLE is important for two key reasons, as marketing executive Alex Sanson highlighted: “Firstly, visibility for Magic Light as a brand owner and production company. Establishing Magic Light as the creators of the animated adaptations based on books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

“And secondly, showcasing all of our brands together, being able to leverage the more well-known characters, such as Gruffalo, to showcase our new properties like Pip & Posy.”

Meanwhile, Marianne James, vp of Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, simply described the show as “the perfect forum”.

“BLE is a key time of the year for us, as it is attended by the European key players in the industry across licensing and retail,” commented Marianne. “Here, we have the perfect forum to present and provide greater insight into our key franchises and initiatives, as well as inform and update the market on the exciting plans we have for our many properties across Nickelodeon, Paramount, MTV and Comedy Central.”

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