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NEWS
TOTAL LICENSING
HAVEN GROW PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS
Despite the global financial crisis, Haven Thomas’ first CGI-animated feature- The ABC is also releasing specially
Licensing in Australia has experienced length movie. In conjunction with packaged editions of The Great
a strong year of growth by maintaining ABC/Roadshow and Hoyts, Haven will Discovery and Thomas & The Magic
the high performance of their key be organising a number of cinematic Railroad in October.
evergreen preschool brands. screenings of the film in November. Bob the Builder has been hard at
On the Hit Entertainment side,
Thomas & Friends united with Autism
HAVEN DECLARE WAR ON
Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in May, to
COUNTERFEITERS
raise awareness of spectrum disorders.
In the UK, a survey of parents of chil-
Haven Licensing is leading the charge against counterfeiters in Australia. Ha-
dren with autism, commissioned by
ven’s comprehensive brand protection program, designed to tackle the im-
The National Autistic Society (NAS)
portation and sale of counterfeit licensed products head-on, protects the
and HIT Entertainment, demonstrated
brands it represents and the revenue streams generated for their interna-
that many children with autism have
tional licensors.
a particular love for Thomas the Tank
“Quite aside from hurting sales, the big problem with counterfeiting is the de-
Engine which may be due to the clear
valuation of the brands. The last thing we want is our brands misrepresented,
facial expressions that make the char-
on a substandard product that falls apart after one wash, or worse still does
acters easy to identify. Haven, HIT En-
not meet the strict safety standards that govern our market” said Tom Punch,
tertainment, and Aspect devised a sim-
Managing Director of Haven.
The program provides a vital point of difference for
licensees and retailers between Haven brands and
those not subject to this stringent program of pro-
tection.
“We are excited to be approaching this problem with
all guns blazing. Brand protection is of vital impor-
tance to the success of our business and that of our
clients.” commented Punch.
Haven Licensing has appointed a Brand Protection
Manager, Madellen Sayers to head up the process,
and engaged the services of Trade Mark Investigation
ilar online survey for Australia in order
Services (TMIS). There are several key facets of the TMIS approach. Raids
to explore whether the local findings
are happening weekly in markets across Australia. TMIS issue on-the-spot
match that of the UK. The survey has
warning notices, formal cease and desist letters and trap purchases. They
had a strong response so far, and re-
undertake Customs liaison on imports and conduct the all-important train-
sults will be announced later this year.
ing of Customs staff, so they know how to recognise the difference between
Haven says that it has been full steam
genuine and dodgy items.
ahead since the announcement, and
Sayers has reported some extremely encouraging results from the program.
they were thrilled at the amount the
The first initiative resulted in the seizure of 20,000 units of Dora apparel.
worldwide coverage the partnership
Other positive outcomes include the reluctance of market stall-holders to
generated - the story was picked up by
stock targeted licenses in the future, reduction of demand to importers and
the Wall Street Journal, and Managing
feedback of importer information to Customs. TMIS also believe that a per-
Director Tom Punch was interviewed
centage of counterfeit customers convert to purchases of genuine products.
by CNN.
“We’ve seen a marked difference in the volume of counterfeit products avail-
Aspect also reports that the Asia
able at markets and in the small stores within shopping centres for those
Pacific Autism Conference in August
licenses signed up as part of our program. It is true that stall-holders are
was hugely successful with more than
getting tired of their Dora stock (for example) being targeted by the TMIS
1500 delegates, and The Fat Controller
operatives, and instead are turning to licenses not involved in the brand pro-
making a special guest appearance.
tection program,” says Sayers.
The Conference saw the release of
Haven reports that to date, Nickelodeon, HIT Entertainment and 20th Cen-
“Through My Eyes”, a song that Aspect
tury Fox have come on board enthusiastically to support this initiative. They
recorded with the support of Thomas
are hopeful all their licensors will see the added benefit this provides to their
& Friends, and performed by 2008
brands and merchandise partners.
Australian Idol Finalist Thanh Bui. It is
In a further effort to protect brand owners, Haven has also signed up with
now available on iTunes and proceeds
Ebay’s VeRO program which works with rights owners to to identify counter-
of sales will go to Aspect.
feit goods and remove them from sale.
October will see the highly anticipated
The fight against counterfeit operators is ongoing, but with these measures in
launch of the Hero of the Rails DVD,
place, Haven is confident that they will get closer to winning the battle.
40
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