MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Max Arguile

He could have been a sperm donor or a life model, instead he chose the licensing business. Max Arguile talks us through his 12 years in the industry...
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Time spent in licensing industry:
12 years. I felt the call of the industry as soon as I realised that there was no real career plan attached to sperm donation, life modelling, medical experiments, police line-ups or the circus.

First job in licensing:
Assistant to Rob Edwards, who ran the licensing department when we were GB Posters.

What were your responsibilities?
We carved up the licensors between us, with me taking some heavyweights like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Current job in licensing:
Licensing manager, which entails the research, acquisition and maintenance of every next big thing.

What are your responsibilities?
I look after the bigger licences, while my colleague Mike Cunsolo also looks after the designers, artists and photographers. As support, we have a crack team of number crunchers and admin fiends who make sure that everything runs smoothly and the licensors never want for their precious information. GB as a whole is responsible for us having 70 per cent of the UK poster market.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
Staying married.

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
Ooh... probably Disney - we do everything that they have and it enables us to satisfy all sectors of the market. A licence like that works best when you have a distribution like ours, as we cover High Street, mass market, record retail, supermarkets, specialists, theme parks, online and the cream of the independent sector.

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?
Grand Theft Auto.

If you could choose your dream job in licensing, what would it be and why?
I have the best job out of anyone I know. Because our distribution is the best in the business, we take a very broad selection of licences. Many licensees operate with less than 20 licences at a time - we have over 250. This means I get to meet interesting people (Muhammed Ali, Russell T Davies, Peter O'Toole, Andy Gill), go on set visits (I've been in the Tardis, hugged Spongebob, sat on The Simpsons couch and been to Tracy Island), I have Victoria Silvstedt and Caprice's mobile numbers, I go to the best premieres and parties, and have been on some amazing pitches. Who else do you know that has played at Old Trafford and banged one in at the scoreboard end?

What's the best thing about working in the licensing business?
Firstly, I am fortunate enough to have made lots of friends - there are some great people in this industry. Secondly, we're all big pop culture fans here at GB and licensing means that we get the heads up on most upcoming music, TV and film releases. Very tangentially we are in those businesses and that's fucking cool, is it not?

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