MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Martin Lowe

Affectionately known as 'the bald one' in the gang, Lowe takes us on an interesting journey through his career in the licensing business...
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Name:
Martin Lowe (the bald one)

Time spent in the licensing industry:
Since the mid-Eighties and, yes, I did have hair then.

First job in licensing:
I started working at Samuel Eden for my old fella at 16, straight from Borstal (the locking system on vehicles was a lot easier in those days, but the police chased your further!) The first licence we signed was Snoopy on the back of another clothing manufacturer, but the favourite licence at Eden's has to be Mr Blobby, which was taken by Marks & Spencer as a bet between the merchandiser and myself. Six weeks later and nearly 250,000 pairs sold, but a smile on everyone's face!

Current job in licensing:
I go to work every day at Roy Lowe & Sons, but as one of our buyers said when visiting the factory: "Managing director? My arse!"

What are your responsibilities?
Looking after the suits and running a care in the community programme which keeps Radda out of the local constabulary's hair.

What is your most embarrassing moment so far?
Finding out that the old LIMA glass awards do not bounce (thanks once again to Andrew Levy for getting me out of a very large hole).

What is your favourite moment in licensing?
The craic that everyone seems to have.

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
Harry Potter, as it established Lowe's in the licensing market.

What would you most like to change in licensing?
If the licensor or property owner is that convinced their brand is a winner, why is there a need for a guarantee?

What bizarre facts about your business are not well-known in licensing?
Even though he is six feet tall, Radda has a 27-inch inside leg, Dean's contractual obligation is that he must wear the suit at the Licensing Show and also give his best renditions at our Christmas party of all the Proclaimers hits. By the way, yes, I do have a brother who seems to do all the work.

If you could choose your dream job, what would it be and why?
It would be a toss up between selling lingerie and fancy dress.

What's the best thing about working in the licensing business?
The fine system in New York, where any presentation could not use corporate jargon. It cut most meetings down to less than five minutes.

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