Asembl to represent Perfetti Van Melle across Australia and New Zealand

Asembl is now representing Perfetti Van Melle’s licensing interests across Australia and New Zealand and will develop strategic licensing opportunities for the company’s Chupa Chups and Mentos brands in new food and non-food categories.  

Perfetti Van Melle is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery. Its products and brands are enjoyed in over 150 countries.

Kickstarting the many licensing interests for Chupa Chups is an ongoing partnership with one of Australia’s oldest family-owned and operated dairy companies, Bulla Dairy Foods.

First to launch in the partnership between the two brands is a Strawberry & Cream flavoured ice-cream cone – Bulla Dairy Foods’ homage to the global bestseller Chupa Chups lollipop. Brought to life in ice cream form for the first time in Australia, the Strawberry & Cream ice-cream cone features a strawberry and vanilla ice-cream flavour with crushed candy and a strawberry sauce drizzled throughout and on top.

“It is incredibly exciting to partner with a global brand synonymous with such fun and excitement. We believe our two brands fit together like the famous strawberry and cream flavour now brought to life in ice cream form,” says Bulla’s Head of Marketing, Andrew Noisette.

“We are excited to see our iconic Strawberry & Cream lollipop come to life in an ice cream format. It is sure to surprise and delight Australian Chupa Chups fans,” says Marta Ballesteros, Area Licensing Manager of Perfetti Van Melle.

Asembl Managing Director, Justin Watson, adds: “We are thrilled to be adding Perfetti Van Melle to our growing brand extension agency – and of course to be launching a Strawberry & Cream ice-cream with Bulla Dairy Foods that honours the global bestselling lollipop. For Australian fans of Chupa Chups and Bulla Dairy Foods, this licensing partnership is really an ice-cream dream come true.”

Chupa Chups Strawberry & Cream cone 4pk (RRP $8.50) is now available through Independent Grocers nationwide and Woolworths from 2 May with a vibrant point of sale activation as well as strong social media campaign.



Carhartt debuts The Batman workwear collection

Carhartt, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC, has announced the new, limited-edition Carhartt x The Batman collection. Inspired by Warner Bros. Pictures’ blockbuster new film The Batman, and built by Carhartt, the premium workwear collection is influenced by the Caped Crusader’s durable, crime-stopping gear.

The Carhartt x Batman collection will be exclusively available to the public on April 6 at The collection features an assortment of hats, sweatshirts, a t-shirt, jacket and iron-on patches.

“While there aren’t many things tougher than Carhartt gear, Batman certainly rises to the top of the list,” says Alex Guerrero, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Product for Carhartt. “Bringing together one of the most recognisable Super Heroes on the planet with the most iconic brand in workwear seemed like a perfect fit for our consumers and Batman fans alike.”

The Batman Chore Coat
Inspired by the idea of a modular utility belt, this coat’s pocketing can house the tools for any task at hand. The coat also features a quilted lining, adjustable cuffs, extra stretch across the shoulders, and pleated elbows for increased flexibility. A reflective Carhartt patch is also featured on the left chest pocket. The highlight is the hidden message “I am the shadows” under the collar. Finally, there is an interior label that assigns each jacket a production number, making it truly limited edition. Available in limited quantities.

The Batman Midweight Sweatshirt
With a reflective Bat emblem on the chest and Carhartt patch on the pocket, this loose fit sweatshirt is guaranteed for comfort. It features an attached three-piece hood with drawcord closure, front handwarmer pocket, a reinforced waistband and rib-knit cuffs.

The Batman Midweight Logo Sleeve Sweatshirt
This midweight cotton blend offers everyday versatility and features our signature logo on one sleeve while the opposite sleeve has the Bat emblem for a perfect pairing. The logos are both reflective, giving the wearer extra protection in the shadows or in the light.

The Batman Relaxed Fit T-Shirt
The Carhartt iconic durable workwear pocket t-shirt features a reflective Carhartt X The Batman logo with bats flying off of it into the darkness. It’s side-seamed construction minimizes twisting and has a tagless neck label for added comfort. It’s made with heavy-weight cotton and a relaxed fit to provide room to move, whether wearing when battling villains or just handling a tough day on the job.

The Selina Kyle Beanie
This black, stretchable, rib-knit beanie was designed for fans’ inner Catwoman and features a reflective Carhartt logo patch on one side and embroidered Bat emblem on the back in dark grey, with a hint of cat ears built into the silhouette.

The Batman Reflective Patch Beanie
Based off the iconic Carhartt beanie, this red, stretchable rib-knit beanie features a fold-up cuff, Carhartt logo patch and reflective black Bat emblem.

The Batman Carhartt Beanie
This black stretchable acrylic rib-knit beanie features a fold-up cuff with the Bat emblem and Carhartt logo embroidered in red, inspired by the film art.

Full details on the upcoming Carhartt X The Batman collection can be found at

Audience tickets now available for Brands & Retail UK Summer Conference

The booking site is now open for licensees and retail buyers wishing to attend the Brands & Retail UK Summer Conference, taking place at the British Library (London) on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July 2022.

Retail buyers and licensees can book their free tickets at

“The list of brands taking part is really growing and I am delighted to announce that The V&A, Pink Key Licensing, Retail Monster, Ashmolean Museum Oxford/Start Licensing and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have been added to the line-up of great brands presenting,” says event director Ryan Beaird.

“Retailers are also showing their support and I can confirm as of today that ASDA, Tesco, Primark, the Entertainer,, Studio Retail, and Boots are bringing their buying teams”.

Brands confirmed to present at the event are:

TeamGB – (Day 1 and Day 2)

The Victoria and Albert Museum – (Day 1)

Mattel – (Day 2)

Paramount – (Day 1 and Day 2)

Acamar Films – (Day 2)

Kelebek Media – (Day 2)

MGA Entertainment – (Day 2)

Penguin Ventures – (Day 2)

Warhammer – (Day 2)

The V&A – (Day 1)

Pink Key Licensing – (Day 1)

Retail Monster – (Day 1)

Ashmolean Museum / Start Licensing – (Day 1)

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – (Day 1)

With only eight unreserved 15-minute pitching slots left for Day One (6 July) for Lifestyle, Commercial, Heritage, Charity and Sports brands and only five 15-minute pitching slots left for the Character and Gaming brands on Day Two (7 July), interested parties are encouraged to email to secure their slots as soon as possible.

The B&RUK Summer Terrace Party will held on the British Library terrace on the last day (7 July) from 5pm till 11pm and is open only to the licensees and retailers attending either day of the conference. Tickets are available for the special early-bird rate of £45 each.



Bulldog signs new duo for Care Bears

The licensing programme for much-loved brand Care Bears, managed by Bulldog Licensing in the UK, continues to welcome new partners for exclusive collaborations and limited-edition partnerships.

The most recent of these is with fashion-forward brand Daisy Street, which is working with Care Bears to create a unique apparel collection consisting of 15 garments including daywear, nightwear, footwear, and accessories, with the RRP ranging from £10 to £60.

The designs will feature the colourful, instantly recognisable Care Bears and magical scenes from Care-a-Lot across a wide range of apparel for adults and children.

Also new to the Care Bears line-up is gift supplier Fizz Creations, who will be developing a wide range of gifting products inspired by characters such as Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear and Share Bear, in their magical world. Fizz Creations is a specialist in licensed gift ranges, with a wide range of top brands already in its offering.

As the Care Bears brand celebrates its 40th year, the property continues to captivate fans of all ages with its Care Bears: Unlock the Magic animated television series, a firm favourite on Pop and Tiny Pop. Meanwhile the original series of 45 episodes of Care Bears: Unlock the Music can now be enjoyed on the official Care Bears YouTube channel, which has amassed an incredible 142 million views.

Sophie Yates, Licensing Executive at Bulldog, says: “I truly believe Care Bears will be around forever. The content resonates as much with young children today as it did when it launched in the 1980s, and new fans join daily. Collaborations and partnerships such as those with Daisy Street and Fizz Creations help to keep the brand relevant and on-trend for consumers of all ages, and make the property accessible to all.”

Licensing Expo previews 2022 Licensing U agenda

Licensing Expo today revealed the 2022 Licensing U content agenda, developed and produced by trade association Licensing International to provide industry newcomers and those looking to advance their knowledge of licensing with elementary and trend-focused education on what they need to know about the $292-billion licensing industry.

Passes for Licensing U will become available on April 11. Those wishing to access the content must be registered to attend Licensing Expo and indicate their interest in the programme here to be notified once the platform opens.

For the first time, Licensing U content will be available both live and on-demand, enhancing the value of the experience for all attendees and exhibitors. First presented in-person at Licensing Expo on May 24-26, participants who have secured a Licensing U pass can enjoy the live sessions followed by Q&As and follow-ups in person with speakers. They can also benefit from a show floor tour with Licensing International to help them identify key trends and new brands, plus enjoy drinks reception at the Licensing International booth.

The on-demand content will become accessible via the online platform from May 26 to enable participants greater flexibility to engage with and revisit content at a time that best suits their schedule and prioritise meetings during the live event.

Sessions for the 2022 edition are strategically developed to advance the $292 billion global licensing industry, including:

Tuesday, May 24:

  • 9:30-10:00 am: Back to Basics

Learn everything you need to know about licensing if you’re new to the industry. This session answers all your questions about licensors, licensees, agents, and agreements.

  • 10:15-11:00 am: The New Rules of Retail

Forget what you thought you knew about the style guide because fast-fashion retailers’ desire for differentiation is all the rage. And by adapting your creative requirements, you can better respond to global and regional trends.

  • 4:00-4:30 pm: Press Play on YouTube and TikTok

The days of relying solely on linear media are long gone. YouTube and TikTok are the new juggernauts, which means it’s crucial to understand how these digital platforms capture consumers’ hearts and drive franchise development.

Wednesday, May 25:

  • 9:00-9:30 am: WTF is up with NFTs

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse are on everyone’s radar right now. But what exactly are they, and how can you take advantage of this new digital world?

  • 2:00-2:30 pm: Information Overload

More research is available than ever before, which is why it’s critical for companies to use that information effectively. Learn what part data should play in your decision-making process without stifling radical creativity.

  • 2:30-3:00 pm: The Lowdown on International Distribution Law

Product distribution in the US can be as broad or limited as the licensor permits, but the same can’t be said for the EU and the UK. Learn everything you need to know about global anti-competitive regulations and how to make the right commercial decisions for your business.

“The licensing industry must evolve at a rapid pace to stay in sync with the changing needs of consumers, making education and peer-to-peer deliberation more important than ever before,” says Maura Ragan, President of Licensing International. “We’ve never faced challenges quite like those experienced in the past few years, both as a collective industry and personally. This year’s edition of Licensing U will deliver expert-led, trend-focused education and will also serve as a creative outlet and a platform for much-needed conversation that we are proud to facilitate jointly with Licensing Expo.”

“We’re in a trend-driven industry,” says Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group. “As such, it’s crucial for licensees and licensors alike to have a pulse on the latest trends that are shaping consumer behavior to inspire and drive business forward. Our attending and exhibiting communities rely on Licensing U every year to discover new ways to creatively address current challenges and dig deeper into exciting trends to better leverage brand extension as a strategic tool.”

The speaker line-up of industry experts will be revealed in advance of the online platform opening on April 11, at which point conference passes will become available.

Licensing Expo’s continued momentum and an increasing number of exhibitors signing on daily have locked in registrations from thousands of sought-after retailers, licensees, and manufacturers. New and notable participants include American Eagle Outfitters, Target, Walmart, Zulily, Hot Topic, Mad Engine, Hallmark, Primark, Simba Dickie, Macy’s, PacSun, Pyramid International, and many more.


The Light Fund Channel relay team face health-check hurdles

As the day on which The Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser is due to take place draws closer, there’s still one major hurdle for the two teams: proving to the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF), the governing body for English Channel swimming, that they’re fit and healthy enough to take on a gruelling swim involving prolonged physical exertion and exposure to sea temperatures of 16C or lower – without a wetsuit.

That means an examining doctor must verify that each swimmer’s medical condition, health and fitness is at a level that would permit them to swim the English Channel, and also undertake the training involved.

Exhaustion and lack of energy are obvious threats to a successful Channel crossing if participants aren’t fit enough, but more serious hazards include hypothermia, swimming-induced pulmonary oedema (SIPE), sea sickness and vomiting-induced oesophageal ulceration.

In addition, few NHS doctors are willing to take on these medicals, not least due to a Covid-based backlog, and even if they do agree, there is often a charge of around £150.

On the upside, for some swimmers this has simply meant filling in a form, having a blood pressure check and offering a urine sample. But other participants didn’t have it quite so easy. Even the superfit team captain Stephen Gould has had problems over the years. He says: “Firstly, there’s white coat syndrome – raised blood pressure due to the stress of being in a clinic. Immersion in cold water also raises blood pressure. And doctors are wary of signing-off for a challenge like this due to potential litigation.”

However, none of the team members has had as much to get through as Kevin Langstaff, Senior Account Manager at GB eye Ltd. When he severely damaged his leg in a motorcycle accident nearly a decade ago he was told he may never walk again. Not only is he now walking but he passed his medical and is swimming the Channel in a few months. As he says: “I now have one leg largely made of metal, so my fellow team members are convinced I’m going to sink. Getting on and off the boat at sea could be interesting…”

Tests aside, the squad is still on course to do the big swim – scheduled to start between 30 June and 3 July at around 2am on a day when conditions for the swim are optimal. The money raised and pledged so far has taken the two intrepid teams almost two-thirds of the way to their target of £250,000 – which will be a record for any single Light Fund challenge.

But there’s a lot more money to be raised and only just over three months until the English Channel Relay takes place. And there are still many sponsorship opportunities out there.

You can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here. Individuals are very welcome to donate via the event’s Just Giving page, where you can also follow the teams as they prepare for the big day. There’s also an Instagram feed and a Facebook page containing team photos and updates.

Stephen Gould says: “It’s been a very tough few months for both teams and it’s about to get tougher, but at least we are close to naming two fully fit teams – and they’ll need to be – for possibly the toughest Light Fund Challenge yet. Our thanks to all our sponsors and donors to date – and a reminder that there are still many opportunities to support The Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser.”


TOPCAU launches emoji-branded Easter eggs

TOPCAU has teamed with emoji – The Iconic Brand for a new collection of Easter treats. 

Products will be available across multiple sales channels in the Brazilian market, including specialised store chains, supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores and small retailers, covering nationwide distribution.

There are two delicious milk chocolate options in the collection. The highlight is a 90g Easter egg, which includes a fun cup. An 80g egg, with comes with a tattoo, is also available.

“Having TOPCAU as a year-long emoji brand licensee in Brazil in this highly important product category is both exciting and important for the emoji company,” says Celso Rafael, CEO of Lotus Global Mkt, responsible for the brand licensing in Brazil. “Easter is such an important date in Brazil and due to the excellent nationwide distribution TOPCAU offers emoji, products reach consumers in more than 200 cities across the entire country.”


Speakers confirmed for European Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit

Iconic British retail brands Liberty and Sainsbury’s, and global entertainment powerhouse Hasbro, are just three of the speakers confirmed for the second European Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS), taking place 21 June at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Liberty, Sainsbury’s and Hasbro join an already packed agenda of speakers including Penguin Random House, The Smiley Company, Abysse Corp, Difuzed, MDR Brand Management, TrendBible, The Point.1888, KidsKnowBest, Hunter Price and ASDA.

The event’s agenda, focused on Shaping the Future of Licensing and Retail, can now be viewed online where tickets can also be purchased. Special rates are available for Licensing International and Products of Change members, as well as delegates booking a two-day pass for B&LIS and SiLC, which is co-located on 22 June.

“Retail disruption. Supply chain challenges. SVOD. Metaverse. Influencers. NFTs. Representation. Changing consumer trends. Meaningful retail experiences. Our industry is going through a transformation like we’ve never seen before, all led by an increasingly complex and demanding customer,” says Anna Knight, SVP of Licensing, Informa Markets.

“The European Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit brings together 300+ brand licensing leaders and delivers thought-provoking content and networking opportunities to help drive the industry forward and get the business insights to address some of these critical topics.”

B&LIS sessions will run from 0930 – 1730 on 21 June, followed by a drinks reception in the evening. The current programme is as follows:

08:00          Registration Opens


09:20          Introduction from Global Licensing Group


09:30          Evaluating the Modern Brand Landscape

Start the day by setting the scene on some of the key trends coming through in licensing with exclusive insight delivered by License Global and other knowledge partners.

Speakers include:

  • Ben Roberts, Senior Content Strategist, License Global

10:10          Leaders Panel: Building a Post-Pandemic Retail & Licensing Strategy

A panel of industry leaders will air their expectations, hopes and fears for a post-Covid future as it relates to retail.

Speakers include:

  • Daniel Avener, CEO, MDR Brand Management
  • Jeremy Orriss, Director of Licensing, Difuzed
  • Marianne James, VP EMEA and Asia Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro
  • Jalil Rahman, Director of Brand Partnerships & Licensing, Liberty

10:50          Following the Money: How the New Age of Consumers Spends

The panel will focus their discussion on Gen Z and millennials.

Speakers include:

  • Sian Rider, Strategy Director, KidsKnowBest
  • Allana Holmes, Head of Sales, Hunter Price

11:45          Everything You Need to Know About Web 3.0

This dynamic session will explore some of the hottest topics in our industry right now, including NFT, Metaverse, IoT, AR, VR…

Speakers include:

  • Trevor George, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Recur

12.45          Networking lunch

13:45          Think Tank: Can the Licensing Process be Rebuilt?

From supply chain challenges to the need for faster speed to market, does the licensing process need to be reviewed?

 Speakers include:

  • Ruth Golightly, Leading Womenswear Clothing / Footwear / Accessories, ASDA
  • Emily Fawcett, Head of Global Licensing, Abysse Corp
  • Moderator: Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, Penguin Random House UK

14:30          Forecasting the Future of Retail through Consumer Trends

Understand how emerging and future consumer behaviours influence the retail space. Speakers include:

  • Hannah Craggs, Head of Subscription, TrendBible
  • Abi Wison, Buying & Design Manager – Celebrations, Sainsbury’s

15:45          Category Breakout Sessions

To provide additional depth around emerging categories, join our interactive roundtables as they spotlight them in more detail. Hear a case study and take part in a Q&A discussion with a choice of four categories soon to be confirmed.

16:30          The Good Fight: How Purpose Breeds Success

What is purpose and why is it important to businesses and customers?

Speakers include:

  • Nicolas Loufrani, Founder and CEO, The Smiley Company
  • Helena Mansell-Stopher, Founder & CEO, Products of Change
  • Moderator: Will Stewart, Founder & CEO, The Point.1888

17:30          Closing Remarks followed by evening drinks reception

B&LIS one day tickets are priced at £275 and can be purchased from Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit Europe. SiLC one day tickets are priced at £275 and can be purchased from Sustainability in Licensing Conference. POC and Licensing International members can enjoy a 20% discount on these rates (non-cumulative). Alternatively, two-day tickets can be purchased from either site for the discounted rate of £525.

Unlimited Footwear Group and Gap announce licensing agreement

Unlimited Footwear Group (UFG) has announced a strategic licensing partnership with Gap Inc. to design, produce, and distribute Gap branded footwear throughout the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Scandinavia, in a deal brokered by IMG.

The upcoming footwear collections will reflect Gap’s values of producing elevated, well-made and responsibly produced products through iconic casual styles that are clean, confident and accessible. The first Gap footwear collection by UFG for men, women and kids is scheduled to launch in spring/summer 2023.

“We are thrilled to add Gap to our licensing portfolio and we look forward to working closely with the Gap team on many footwear collections to come. We are committed to leveraging our 30-plus years of experience in the footwear industry to continue to grow the Gap brand awareness and international reach,” says Bart van Helvoirt, CEO Unlimited Footwear Group.

“Partnering with licensees such as Unlimited Footwear Group gives us the opportunity to amplify our strong, globally relevant brand and extend its reach to customers around the world,” says Adrienne Gernand, Managing Director of International, Global Licensing and Wholesale at Gap Inc. “Through these licensing partnerships, we are able to grow our non-apparel categories and establish Gap as a lifestyle brand that delivers style for all stages in our customers’ lives.”

In partnership with Gap, UFG’s The Heritage Footwear Company division in Utrecht, part of Unlimited Footwear Group, will manage the Gap Footwear collections. The Heritage Footwear Company plans to launch two collections a year at a mid-price level and will distribute through its international sales network of both multi-brand fashion and sports retail and through wholesale and various online platforms.

UFG’s dedicated Gap team will operate from Utrecht, the Netherlands, through UFG´s The Heritage Footwear Company division.


General Mills and SEGA of America team up for Sonic’s birthday

General Mills and SEGA of America have teamed up to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog and the release of his new film – Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – on April 8, 2022, with a special-edition line of cereal and fruit snacks.

Fans can collect gold rings just like the Blue Blur with a new honey-flavoured, ring-shaped cereal, complete with Chaos Emerald and Spin Dash marshmallows, as well as a fun back-of-the-box activity for a speedy way to start the day. The partnership also includes new Sonic the Hedgehog fruit snacks, which come in a variety of shapes and flavours for speedsters on the go.

“Our goal is to create holistic brand experiences for our consumers, and we’re so excited to be able to join SEGA to extend the ways that families can engage with the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog this spring,” says Katie Wong, Head of Ideas & Partnerships for General Mills. “By bringing Sonic into the cereal and fruit snacks aisles, we’re able to bring together favourites of both kids and parents alike.”

“General Mills is one of the foremost brands in the food industry, especially when it comes to youth-focused products, so we’re thrilled to partner up with them,” says Michael Cisneros, Senior Manager of Licensing at SEGA of America. “This partnership is a really fun and creative way to integrate some iconic aspects of the Sonic games into a whole new product line, and we’re excited to introduce it to Sonic fans.”