David Binnie, General Manager, Warner Bros Consumer Products
Binnie joined Hasbro in 1986 as a board game developer and has been in the toy and licensing industries ever since, holding roles in sales, marketing, product development and licensing.
He joined WBCP 11 years ago and is responsible for managing all aspects of the consumer products licensing and the licensing team in the UK.
“As part of the board, we can steer the content of the site to inform and communicate the news that we all need to make the right decision,” he says. “I’ve been running the CP business at WB for four years and so I have plenty of experience in launching new brands, as well as reviving and growing existing brands. My experience goes across TV, movies and sport and all categories of the licensing business.
“The site can help us all to grow our industry and develop a community that behaves responsibly and is dedicated to giving kids what they want.
“I’d like to see the site act as a voice for the licensing industry, to protect our collective interests, raise issues and harness support and strategies to tackle them.”
Ciarán Coyle, Managing Director, The Beanstalk Group
Coyle oversees Beanstalk’s international licensing business across Europe, South Africa and Asia, and during his time at the firm as seen it expand both internationally and across new segments of the industry from automotive to celebrity.
Prior to joining Beanstalk in 2002, Coyle was COO of a successful Cambridge UK technology start-up and was instrumental in spinning this company out of a global technology consultancy where he had been head of research and also developed other new business ventures. He has also held senior posts in consulting, sales and marketing and general management.
“I think Licensing.biz has made a significant start in striking a balance between daily news items and more in-depth interviews and opinion pieces,” he says. “I’d like to help the site develop more breadth and depth in their retail and market analysis pieces and provide some direction on some more brand-specific items of interest for the site’s visitors.”
Sonya Little, Licensing Manager, Woolworths
Little started as licensing manager for Woolworths just over a year ago, coming from a marketing manager background in entertainment at the retailer.
She says that moving from New Zealand to the UK has given her a wealth of experience which she would never have achieved otherwise.
Woolworths is the number one destination on the High Street for licensed product, and Little names some of her recent highlights as including the successful events for Spider-man and Transformers last year and then winning three awards at the Licensing Awards last September, including Best Retailer.
Key to her role is reviewing licensed properties, guiding the store’s buyers on the key properties to support and creating impactful events that drive customers into stores to maintain its position as a major destination.
“I think that I will bring a balanced and fresh retailer view to the site,” Little says. “I think Licensing.biz is a great way of ensuring news is communicated reliably and fast in this ever changing industry.”
Mary Vacher, Licensing Development Manager, Random House Children’s Books
Vacher has been at Random House Children’s Books for seven years, working with some of the most popular properties in the licensing industry including Hana’s Helpline, Milkshake, Pocoyo, Princess Poppy and Jacqueline Wilson.
She made the move into licensing back in 1986, when she was offered a job by a client of the bank where she worked. This led to her first licensing job, as sales office manager for Reed Consumer Books, before moving to Egmont as its UK director of sales. While there, Vacher worked on brands such as Thomas, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie and Tintin.
"I have extensive experience in publishing and therefore can bring this knowledge to aid the advisory," Vacher comments.