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“It takes a crisis to remind you of humanity”

ViacomCBS Consumer Products’ Venetia Davie on the responsiveness of licensees and retailers and tackling the unknown of consumer confidence and spending.

From switching licensee presentations and workshops to Zoom, through to creating special content featuring their characters to help parents suddenly needing to home-school as well as work, licensors and IP owners have stepped up during the crisis.

Today, Source chats to Venetia Davie, vice president, UK and Ireland, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, about how licensees and retailers reacted to the crisis, planning for SS21 and valuing the strength of our relationships.

“Our partners have been fantastic. Despite having to deal with their own supply chain challenges, staff furloughs and new market conditions on an almost daily basis, I have to credit our licensees and retail partners for being so responsive. They’ve taken the time to connect with our teams and are at once focused on maximising the short-term and planning out 2021.

The biggest unknown will be around consumer confidence and consumer spending. We’re coming out of a bubble and have seen consumers queueing around the block to get back into shops like Primark and Sports Direct. What we haven’t seen is the economic impact of people coming off furlough and the effect lockdown has had on the economy. Will consumers feel as buoyant by September and how will this impact consumer spend as we move into the all-important Q4?

It takes a crisis to remind you of humanity. I hope that the things we’ve valued during lockdown, and the strength of our relationships as a result, remain for years to come.”

This feature originally appeared in the summer 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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