“Licensing can give you some of the greatest experiences”

Industry legends impart their advice to LIMA UK’s Young Professionals Network during special panel session.

Listen to people, build relationships, treat people with respect, seek out that spark of originality and look for that emotional engagement with brands.

This was just some of the advice given by a panel of ‘licensing legends’ at the first LIMA UK Young Professionals Network event of 2019 last Friday (March 29).

The panel comprised Graham Saltmarsh, Cartoon Network Enterprises; consultant Helen McAleer; Rockpool Licensing md Vickie O’Malley; and Rocket Licensing’s head of retail, Richard Hollis, all of whom spoke about their careers in the licensing industry.

Interviewed by the YPN committee – Tasmyn Knight, licensing associate at Turner, Louisa Skevington, licensing coordinator at Rocket Licensing and Alexandra Salisbury, retail licensing manager at Nickelodeon UK CP – the panel answered questions on topics including the properties they have particularly enjoyed working on (ranging from Teletubbies and Sesame Street, through to Mr Blobby and Guess How Much I Love You), how the industry has changed over the years, how to build brand longevity, challenges at retail, influencers and the different places brands are now coming from.

Rockpool Licensing’s Vickie said: “The licensing industry can give you some of the greatest experiences. It is a very tight industry; you will deal with the same faces for many a year, so the kindness and respect you show to others will always be key.”

The whole panel agreed that listening to others and treating everybody well will stand the young professionals in good stead throughout their careers, with Helen adding: “Treat everybody well, work hard, say yes more than no, be open to things, understand change and the strategy of companies that you work for.”

Graham commented: “You will come across a lot of ‘free thinkers’ in the licensing industry – give them the time of day, because you never know. It is one big family, which you will hopefully stay in, and the contacts you make will stand you in good stead for the future.”

Rocket’s Richard concluded: “This is a fantastic industry to be in and a great community of people. Having discovered the licensing industry, don’t let go of it.”

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