Licensing deals revealed as BLE opens

Carte Blanche and Belly Button announce alliances as Paddington shows the way to Brand Licensing Europe

 

As BLE opens its doors – with Paddington Bear testing out the new Elizabeth Line that makes access quick and easy – greeting card companies Carte Blanche and Belly Button Designs are expanding in licensing.

Brand Licensing Europe kicked off at noon today, Tuesday, 20 September, at ExCel London and, with an exclusive retailer competition to win £500 of spa vouchers by creating a brand licensing programme for Carte Blanche Greetings’ Tatty Teddy, the specialist trade show for the licensing industry is perfect timing for the publisher’s announcement of a new partnership with Bulldog Licensing.

The alliance further expands the licensing programme for the Me To You brand encompassing Tatty Teddy and Tiny Tatty Teddy, which now extends well beyond its original incarnation as a greeting card character as the company has partnered with licensees since 2001 on products including apparel, print-on-demand, food, gifting and nursery – within these key categories, the characters regularly feature among retail number one performers.

Above: Tatty Teddy is set to expand Carte Blanche’s licensing programme
Above: Tatty Teddy is set to expand Carte Blanche’s licensing programme

“Carte Blanche has a guiding mantra of considering category, customer and consumer in everything we do,” commented CBG ceo Alister Marchant. “We work hand in hand with our retail partners to execute elite class products in targeted categories to deliver excellence to the Me To You consumer.

“Collaborating with Bulldog comes at the right time for Carte Blanche and our ambitions for Me To You and we’re looking forward to working with Bulldog to identify and deliver exciting ways to take our brand to new heights.”

Rob Corney, md at Bulldog Licensing, added: “The positive response to Me To You and its delightful imagery made it an ideal candidate for extension into multiple categories very soon after its launch. Now it’s time to take Me To You to the next level.”

With the show having changed its traditional opening hours due to yesterday’s funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Paddington’s status as a royal pal thanks to his appearance in the summer’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations made him the perfect segue from the solemnity of the pomp and circumstance to the brightness of BLE.

As you can see from the main image, and the special video below, Paddington has already tested the new Elizabeth line, which makes it quicker and easier than ever before for visitors and exhibitors to get to ExCeL from east, west and central London.

Over at Belly Button Designs, founder Rachel Hare is looking to expand its business, appointing Licensing Link Europe to grow the brand into numerous consumer products categories.

The design-led publisher – which started nearly 30 years ago with a Prince’s Trust grant – develops and manufactures its luxury cards in the UK, selling to independent retailers as well as the likes of John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

With the core business very well established in the stationery and greeting cards space, Licensing Link Europe will be focusing on other home-based categories including dated stationery to complement the current offer, soft furnishings, home textiles, bedding and home fragrances.

Above: Belly Button’s founder Rachel Hare is looking to expand the business
Above: Belly Button’s founder Rachel Hare is looking to expand the business

Rachel told PG Buzz: “The looks we create reflect perfectly what consumers want – we’ve seen that through our cards and the selection of gift lines we now produce ourselves – so we feel it’s the perfect time to expand the brand further.

“Our designs are memorable and have longevity and would work well across so many lifestyle and homewares products.”

Ian Wickham, director of Licensing Link Europe, added: “Good design and lifestyle are all-year-round propositions that consumers buy into as a considered choice. They’re not about what’s performing well currently on TV or box office releases where there’s a shorter window of opportunity. This is about beautifully-delivered creative that offers low-risk return to a consumer who’s looking for something different in the market – Belly Button Designs certainly delivers on all fronts from a licensing perspective.”

Above: Belly Button’s designs are memorable
Above: Belly Button’s designs are memorable

BLE runs from today until Thursday, 22 September, playing host to more than 220 brands, thousands of IP ready to licence, daily keynotes, a spotlight on France, a sustainability and DEI day, plus networking drinks among other activity.

The Retail Lounge is an exclusive area for retailers to meet, relax and recharge as well as talk to the BLE team about taking part in next year’s popular Retail Mentoring Programme, and new this year is the chance to take part in a competition to create a brand licensing programme for Carte Blanche’s Tatty Teddy with £500 worth of Champneys Spa vouchers to be won.

Top: Paddington says hello to the Elizabeth Line as the world said goodbye to The Queen

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