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TOTAL Art Licensing
Let’s Be Determinedly
Optimistic...
By Lance J Klass, Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing
It’s almost a truism that when a company’s in- And those are companies
come is down, the first thing they cut is adver- that use the power of the
tising, yet that’s exactly the time when a com- art marketplace to bring in
pany needs to increase its advertising in order strong licensed artwork that
to increase its sales. literally pulls in buyers.
I would suggest another truism, that companies I’ve been representing art
under stress tend to cut back on licensing art- for license since 1985 and
work for their products. In perilous economic through my own company
times, many companies ‘pull inward’, directing since 1994. I have lots of
their in-house artists to create winning art so good artists and strong
that the company can somehow create strong artwork that will increase
retail programs at lesser cost. Most often, it product sales in a wide va-
never works out that way. riety of commercial fields.
Companies that depend on the availability of And there are many other
strong licensed artwork for their products al- art licensing agencies as
most never do better taking artwork in-house well as really excellent art-
unless they have some really excellent in-house ists who license their work
creative talent already in place. And that’s quite directly, who also have
rare. So cutting back on licensing the very best must-buy artwork, so why
and most consumer-appealing artwork can be settle for less?
just as pernicious to their bottom line as cutting Of course, the prophets of
advertising and promotion. doom and gloom are con-
The companies that hold their own and even vinced that we’re heading
thrive in a tight market are those who create into a worldwide depres-
and sell products that immediately grab the sion and that virtually noth-
attention of potential buyers and present a ing substantial will turn
that are holding on and even thriving in this
compelling case for purchase by the consumer. around for years. Producers and manufacturers
market are those who are, in his words, “de-
who buy into that sce-
terminedly optimistic”. They’re companies that
nario will probably ex-
have ignored the financial doom-and-gloom ‘ex-
perience the worst the
perts’ and have gotten down to business. They
economy can offer.
are innovating, working smart, and bringing in
But as one of our major
the most compelling, beautiful, charming, nostal-
licensees pointed out to
gic or uplifting artwork they can find for their
me the other day, what
products.
about the 70-80% of
This is not a time to contract out of fear. It’s a
all businesses that are
time to advertise more, license more, innovate,
doing well and holding
and grow your business doing what you do best.
their own? What about
And if you follow that simple prescription, you’ll
the 92% of the labor
do well. It’s a no-brainer.
force that has jobs, or
Lance J. Klass did postgraduate work in inter-
the 94% of homeown-
national economics at the University of Chicago
ers who are paying their
and the University of California, Davis. He is
mortgages on time?
the founder and President of Porterfield’s Fine
His conclusion is simple
Art Licensing. Contact him directly at art@por-
and it’s one with which I
terfieldsfineart.com.
agree: those companies
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