Interview of Kelvyn Gardner, Managing Director of LIMA UK

Kazachok: What is the aim of LIMA in UK?
Kelvyn Gardner: LIMA exists to promote the interests of licensing as a business. We do this through education, PR, lobbying government and promoting the interests of our members in whatever way we can.

K.: How many members do you have? What is the profile?
K. G.: Currently we have 100 UK members. They range in profile from small, one person consultancies through to major corporations like Lego and the BBC. Members come from all sides of the industry, licensees, licensors, agents, consultants, lawyers and accountants.

K.: What kind of action do you have in UK for your members?
K. G.: Members get a big discount on the cost of exhibition space at all the major licensing trade shows that we sponsor each year. We also stage two full days of educational seminars and two networking parties each year. The last event, called the “Winter Warmer”, took place in London on 3rd December 2009. We are active in talking to UK government departments about key issues for members. This year we have spent a great deal of time talking with the Department of Health (UK ministry) about childhood obesity issues and what we can do to assist.

K.: What do you think about the licensing market in UK? How is it?
K. G.: We think that the marker overall will be down in 2009. NPD (Research Company) believe that licensed toy sales, for instance, are down 10% on last year. However, if we have a look on the last Brand Licensing Europe, 2009 had a record attendance: more exhibitors and more visitors, both from the UK and overseas. I would say, therefore, that, after a difficult year, UK licensing is in optimistic mood for the future. Looking forward to 2010, we believe that growth areas for UK licensing will include music, which has under-utilised licensing in the past, brands and, in particular fashion brands. Data available for November from retails also indicates that UK consumers are starting to spend money again, so perhaps the optimism shown by our members at Brand Licensing Europe will prove to be well founded when we move into the new trading year.

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