By Allison Watkinson
Anime publisher VIZ Media has appointed Boutique Licensing Agency (BLA!) as its brand licensing and management representative in Europe.
VIZ Media is a US-based entertainment company that focuses on manga publishing and anime distribution. The company currently serves multiple industries including publishing, animation, film, gaming and licensed consumer products.
BLA!’s employees bring extensive experience in the licensing, entertainment, publishing and toy industry. The agency’s focus is to build strategic brand extensions that secure long-term success for its partners.
BLA! also offers brand licensing representation services that include rights management, contract negotiation, retail activation, and consultation services across EMEA.
“Our goal at BLA! is to offer a personalized and agile service, adapted to the needs of our partners; we are delighted to offer our expertise to VIZ Media, by extending their Animé and Manga business at European level,” said María Maranesi, Managing Partner at BLA!.
The agency’s role will be to partner with VIZ on creating a strategic plan for Europe that includes signing and managing licensees across general merchandise, experiences, and promotions.
BLA! will support retail partnerships and collaborations on behalf of VIZ Media. The agency will also lead the company’s consumer products expansion on the international level. BLA! will work with their sub-agent, Reemsborko, for Viz Media’s UK licensing program.
“We are excited to become VIZ Media’s on-ground agency in Europe; to bring VIZ Media’s brands together with suppliers to create products that animé fans love,” said Marie-Noelle Lutte, Managing Partner at Boutique Licensing Agency. “With the rising trend in manga and animé, the timing is perfect. With a focus on BLEACH and INUYASHA we look forward to extending these brands into merchandise, promotions and experiences with the best partners in the business.”
Viz Media’s brand portfolio features big names in Japanese pop culture such as Naruto, Bleach, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Inuyasha, Junji Ito, and more. The newest entry to the Bleach franchise, titled Bleach Thousand Year Blood War, recently launched on Disney+ in all territories outside of the United States.
“We are proud to announce VIZ Media’s partnership with BLA! as we build our portfolio in Europe,” said Laura Takaragawa, Vice President, Consumer Products, Licensing & Promotions at VIZ Media.
“BLA is a great match with VIZ as they are well respected, strategic market-experts with an entrepreneurial spirit.
“We have been impressed with what BLA! has accomplished in a short time and know that we can expect many great things in the future under this partnership!”