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The Licensing Q&A… with Janet Woodward

We delve into the licensing life of the director of JELC.

Janet Woodward,

Director, JELC

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

I fell into licensing, like most people of my vintage, by complete accident.  I didn’t even know what it was. My background is in marketing and I ran a campaign to market limited edition prints featuring images from the library at Chatsworth House. It turned out they were published under licence and at the end of the campaign I was poached by the licensing agency… oh so many years ago, and I’ve been unable to escape ever since.

How many years in the industry?

24.

When I was growing up, I had no idea licensing was an industry so I wanted to be…

A mounted policewoman.

The deal I am most proud of is…

A deal I did with Wedgwood for a basically unknown teddy bear called Rambling Ted – five years with MGs of £50,000 per year in the mid-90s.  The guy who signed it for Wedgwood got the sack!

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

Oh where to start! I think the recent trip to China I did with the National Gallery (see main picture), but there are so many over the years. The Light Fund bobsleigh trip has to up there among the highlights – I still have nightmares about it.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…

Learn when to say ‘no’. If a deal doesn’t feel right then the chances are it isn’t. That and anything Trevor Jones has ever told me.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

Looking after chickens and bees in my paddock.

Who do you admire most in the industry (and why)?

Ian Downes – he’s just a legend.

In a film of your life, which licensed character would play you?

I’d like to say Jessica Rabbit but that’s pure self-delusion – the rest of the industry would probably say Cruella de Ville!

If I could change anything about the industry, it would be…

A more sane business model for licensing agents – the current one is bonkers.

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