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TOTAL LICENSING
diluted. There is less space available day! Still, there are a lot of people who barriers. The UK TV industry has
at retail for TV and movie properties, fight this which is a very good thing. long had a head start in training, re-
other than the big ones and more op- There’s great animation coming out of cruiting and retaining talent but there
portunity for brand, design and celeb- Ireland but in the UK we simply don’t is increasing competition from else-
rity licensing”. do enough to encourage the arts. In where. The British sense of humour
Japan and Asia, a lot of UK program- and our creativity offer UK properties
The UK is recognised as
ming interestingly does better than US some big advantages, but the strongest
producing original and
programming”. properties will be those that achieve
quality properties.
global appeal because they celebrate
Do you see this trend
Angela Farrugia: “A rich vein of our similarities, not our differences”
continuing? Do you see
new properties, with infinite export
value continues to come from the UK, John McInnerny: “There is no rea-
UK properties moving
particularly from the publishing arena son why not. In the pre-school cat-
increasingly into overseas
although less from independent pro- egory we have got a history of quality.
markets? What do you
ducers. Unless they are backed by a On the art side we have also created
think the UK market has
big media brother then international innovative properties laced with the
to offer overseas markets? expansion – in particular to the US is British humour. We will continue to
very difficult. The classics on the other create and continue to sell overseas”.
Sean Clarke: “There seems a real hand are booming. Above all the BBC
buzz internationally with UK TV for- seems to have a winning formula for Bettina Koeckler: “The UK can look
mats. Preschool continues to be a overseas success”. back at a very rich history of authors
strong genre that exports well and who have influenced the world of lit-
increasingly over the last few years it Stephen Gould: “There are many erature. This concept is highlighted by
seems that more family/adult orientat- factors that currently threaten this a number of brands which are quite
ed programming has proved success- scenario and if they are not addressed different from any average character
ful when selling foreign format rights, in the short-term, the UK may indeed and bear a British uniqueness while
such as The Office, Top Gear. Aardman lose not only its creative talent but also still creating global appeal; properties
even created a US version of Creature its creative ability. Certainly creative such as Thomas the Tank Engine and
Comforts. Hopefully the trend will stagnation or loss of creative resolve Mr Men and Little Misses are origi-
Nicholas Durbridge
Copyrights Group
continue if producers can continue to is the best-case scenario at present. nally publishing-based characters with
finance original and creative program- Irrespective of where a property is a high entertainment value which have
ming in the UK”. originated, the return on investment been successfully transformed into au-
means that with very few exceptions, diovisual brands with a worldwide fol-
Ciarán Coyle: “British creativity is an international roll-out is not only lowing. The new Mr Men Show which
celebrated across all areas of the re- desirable, but essential. Upfront costs airs on Five in the UK was launched
tail market. This is reflected in the and the increasing diminishing returns internationally recently on Cartoon
number of properties, both on the from traditional routes of IP exploi- Network in the US and France 5.
entertainment and brand sides, which tation mean that localisation is now Meanwhile there are more than 16 li-
have seen success outside the UK in globalisation. So many tertiary factors censees with approx. 500 products in
recent years. On the brand side, there are now impinging on the good health Japan, where the show has never been
is currently a significant global interest of home grown progeny and ironically on air and the characters are a huge
in British fashion brands, particularly in many of these threats are from those success just by their design and uni-
the luxury sector. Burberry is prob- “Mary Whitehouse” do-gooders that versally appealing messages, which is a
ably the best case in point. As a result, simply are not embracing the bigger good example of how UK properties
the trend for British brands develop- picture. With Joint Ventures and Co- turn into global successes.
ing internationally will continue, and Productions now the “norm”, few As long as a property has a unique but
the world will keep looking to Britain British properties are wholesomely universally understandable content
for creative inspiration”. British in entirety, however, the drive and is able to meet the international
for excellence and the discernment of
Angela Farrugia
high quality standards, I believe that
The Licensing
Nicholas Durbridge: “Yes, we do perfectionism remains unquestionably the country of its origin is no longer
Company
produce original and quality properties the standard bearer for the industry the key to success or failure”.
and I see no reason why this should at largesse”.
change. We are a very creative coun- Vickie O’Mally: “Many of the largest
try but, unfortunately, PC pressure Richard Hollis: “The entertainment and most powerful players subscribe
tries to make everything conform and world is already global, and global to a global strategy which in real-
can have the effect of stifling creativ- brands can raise concerns of a threat ity, often means US-centric strategy.
ity. The Simpsons, for example, would to national characteristics, especially However, the UK has a great tradi-
probably be banned if it launched to- as the internet transcends national tion of entertainment creative and the
112
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