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The Licensing Q&A… with Mel Beer

We delve into the licensing life of Amscan’s licensing director EMEA.

Mel Beer,

Licensing director EMEA, Amscan International

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

Like most people, my route into licensing was by accident. Having written to the BBC to ask them to ‘give me a job’ in 1989, I worked as a legal PA to the business affairs director before being promoted to various management roles within the department, including booking the cast for The Archers. When I realised how much fun the licensing sales team had I moved across to manage Teletubbies, and the rest is history…

How many years in the industry?

20

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

An air hostess – but I was too short!

The deal I am most proud of is…

There are so many, but the most satisfying is seeing Toot the Tiny Tug Boat come to life on Milkshake, from the TV option agreement I concluded with Lupus Films while at HarperCollins.

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

From the ones I can mention, I’d say experiencing the Walmart management team’s morning chant (while staying in the hotel next to their head office in Arkansas) has to be up there.

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

My dad always said you make your own luck and anything is possible if you want it badly enough.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

I’ve probably got the most experience in buying shoes and handbags – I’d happily get paid to do that.

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

Tracey Hinchliffe for getting me started on my licensing journey and mentoring me in the early days, and Trevor Jones for always being there, like my ‘Licensing Daddy’, it’ll be like losing my comfort blanket when he retires.

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

Sadly it wouldn’t be Air Hostess Barbie – I’m more like Darth Vadar (if a recent Star Wars survey is anything to go by).

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

Stop with the constant forecasting so we can focus on sales and marketing.

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