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What Consumers Will be Looking for in a Post-COVID World

By Alicia Rosa Brand Central Insights Consumers are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. This new vaccinated world will be a testing ground to see if the pandemic-driven trends and habits will stay. At Brand Central Insights we’ve been able to look at the trends from the last year at a bird’s-eye view to see what’s going to stick around for the long haul and what will join the graveyard of TikTok fads. As we get closer to a post-COVID world, consumers will be looking to reclaim the time spent inside and celebrate extravagantly, but won’t want to lose the conveniences, communities, or creative hobbies they discovered in quarantine. E-Commerce & DTC Online shopping and e-commerce habits will likely continue post-COVID, despite the excitement… . . . read more

SPLiCE Hosting ‘License To Play Globally’ Conference on April 26

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) is celebrating its 17th anniversary on Monday—which is also World IP Day—by hosting a conference on ways to protect, promote and enhance brand integrity through licensing. SPLiCE currently consists of 70-plus member companies which together account for more than 20% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 6% of the S&P 500 Index, and 22% of License Global’s 2020 Top 150 Global Licensors. The membership reads like a Who’s Who of corporate America, including companies like The Walt Disney Company in entertainment; Ford, GM and Harley Davidson in the automotive sector; beverage firms like Coca Cola, Anheuser Busch and Jack Daniels; tech companies ranging from AT&T, Electrolux, Dupont, Boeing and Westinghouse; toy companies like Mattel and Hasbro; and… . . . read more

Beijing Lashes Out at Western Fashion Brands

WAR OF WORDS OVER HUMAN RIGHTS SPILLS OVER INTO LICENSING, AS CHINA HITS BACK AGAINST H&M, ADIDAS, NIKE, AND MORE Stung by accusations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, Beijing is lashing out at Western fashion brands that have criticized the Chinese government. Already, Chinese state TV has called for a boycott of the Swedish retailer H&M, following sanctions by Western governments on Chinese officials accused of taking part in human rights abuses against the Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Some Chinese celebrities, like singer-actors Wang Yibo and Eason Chan (pictured), have begun cutting ties with Western companies. Chan, for example, has faced a backlash from fans in China after stepping down as a celebrity ambassador for Adidas. Wang similarly stepped down as brand ambassador for Nike, saying he… . . . read more

Cardi B Releases Doll, Then Deactivates Her Twitter Account

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The famous and sometimes infamous rapper Cardi B has released her own limited edition fashion doll, and within three minutes the doll had sold out, and Cardi B deactivated her Twitter account after a spat with fans. The release of the Cardi B doll was timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, and was put out through the newly formed enterprise Real Women Are, “a new diverse and inclusive doll brand.” The good news for Cardi B and Real Women Are is that the 10,000 copies of the limited release doll sold out within minutes. The bad news, that Cardi B quickly came under criticism by fans who complained she should be producing more music, not dolls for kids. As well, some critics have questioned… . . . read more

Startup’s Sales Soar After Sesame Street Deal

The success of innovative startup company Glo underlines the critical importance of seeking out smart licensing deals with popular brands. Glo, a young company based in Starkville, Miss., recently signed a licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop for Glo Pals, an imaginative toy that brightens play and bath time for children, particularly those with autism. Glo Pals were recognized among best-in-class products as a Gold Award winner in the 2020 Mom’s Choice Awards. Glo began as a senior college project for its founders, but the concept was so successful it led to the launch of the company, working with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the perennially popular children’s show Sesame Street. Hagan Walker and Anna Barker were budding entrepreneurs in Mississippi State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach when they hit… . . . read more

Spotify Removes K-Pop Songs in Licensing Debacle

If you’re a big K-pop fan with a Spotify account, you’re probably not too happy today. Thanks to a breakdown in licensing talks, songs from some of the world’s biggest K-pop stars have vanished from Spotify’s music library after talks between the streamer and Korean distributor Kakao M hit a brick wall. Some of the acts affected include many of Korea’s most popular acts, including Seventeen, MonstaX, Mamamoo, (G)I-DLE and IU. The issue was first noticed on March 1 (Korean time) as Spotify users around the world first noticed that many K-pop songs were no longer available to them on the platform. Some artists’ entire catalogs disappeared without warning from Spotify, while other artists saw some of their songs remain. Later the same day Spotify announced that its licensing agreement… . . . read more

Special Report: The Future of Hasbro

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The ‘Play and Entertainment’ conglomerate Hasbro has for the first time outlined its future plans in a live investor event, and as expected, the news will be game changing for the company and for its licensing partners worldwide. Sit down and grab yourself a coffee or tea, because it’s a LOT. At the core of the announcement, Hasbro has outlined its “strategic growth drivers” for the near and medium term, and has unveiled new product segments aligned to these drivers. In other words, the company is restructuring, and it’s doing so in ways that it feels will better prepare Hasbro for a rapidly changing environment. The new financial reporting segments are: Consumer Products, including toys and games; Wizards of the Coast (Wizards) and… . . . read more

Licensing Letter Editor To Deliver Keynote at Octane5 Event

Octane5, the company behind the BrandComply Licensing Enterprise Platform, has announced its 2021 International Open House March 4, 2021, featuring The Licensing Letter Editor in Chief Gary Symons as the keynote speaker. Symons, who also presented Rise of the Virtual Influencer at the SPLiCE Conference last month (Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence), will present a keynote entitled The Cave Dweller Economy, showing how the COVID-19 pandemic created or accelerated radical new trends in the licensing and retail industries. “As one prime example,” joked Symons, “we’ll all be attending the conference virtually from our various digital caves around the world.” Participants can register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-lbkbNh2Q_210qQ7NtEy3g The event will consist of multiple events designed to inform and engage the licensing industry.  “We’re proud to be able to connect our industry during… . . . read more

Twin Studies Predict Strong Recovery For Licensing and Retail

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Two key reports released over the past two weeks illustrate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the licensing and retail industries … but they also paint an encouraging picture for the economic recovery of both sectors as vaccination programs roll out in America and around the world.  License Global released its report—COVID-19: What Happens Next—on the impact of COVID-19 on the licensing industry, with survey respondents showing the industry as a whole suffered declining revenues and layoffs. The good news, says the License Global report, “Industry professionals on average expect business to stabilize and return to broadly pre-COVID-19 levels by December 2021. Most notably, 45 percent of respondents anticipate a rise in annual revenue, while 28 percent anticipate an increase in headcount and… . . . read more

Hasbro Not Toying Around With Gina Carano

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Talk about a rough week at the office. Toy giant Hasbro says it will no longer produce any toys featuring former Mandalorian star Gina Carano, who plays the part of the popular character Cara Dune. Carano was fired from her role in the hit Disney+ series after posting a series of controversial social media messages, she was dropped by her agents at United Talent Agency, and now licensed toy merchandise is also being discontinued. “The Star Wars Black Cara Dune figure was released in 2020 and sold out not long after the inventory was received,” a spokeswoman for BigBadToyStore told The Hollywood Reporter in a Monday email. “Hasbro planned for another production run and we were accepting preorders from that production run. Due to recent events,… . . . read more


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