Today, we turn the spotlight on those Unsung Heroes of the licensing business – the ones working behind the scenes, but playing a vital role in the industry.


Today, we turn the spotlight on those Unsung Heroes of the licensing business – the ones working behind the scenes, but playing a vital role in the industry.

Don’t forget to support them at next month’s People Awards, which takes place at Sway Bar, Holborn on Thursday April 30th…

Doodlebug Design

Doodlebug Design is small creative design agency based in Earlsfield, London working in both the corporate and licensing sectors. Its clients include local business owners and large multi-nationals.

Doodlebug Design is the brain child of co-founders Sian Hennesey and Maria Thomas who set up the design studio in 1994. With their blend of licensing design and textile design backgrounds, it was not long before Doodlebug had made its name working on style guides, licensed product and apparel projects for the likes of Disney and LEGO. Since then the company has grown to include a broader range of creative services including web design, corporate design and marketing.

Dot Dash Design

Dot Dash Design is an independent UK based creative agency specialising in licensed character design and brand development.

The company was founded in 2009 by Paula Taylor, Nick Goodman and Christa Mavroudis. The firm’s passion for licensed product combined with its manufacturing, forecasting and retail experience gives Dot Dash Design a great understanding of its clients’ needs.

The company’s design expertise covers product concepts, graphics, patterns, packaging and POS. The business has grown organically over the past six years and the team claims its fashion and textiles background has helped it to become the ‘go to’ agency for fashion style guides and look books.

Dot Dash Design’s clients include Hit Entertainment, DHX, Nickelodeon, BBC Worldwide and Sega.

360 Royalty Audit

Global legal and financial auditing business 360 Audit is trusted by some of the world’s biggest licensors to carry out royalty audits on their licensees. Headed up by award-winning businesswoman and ex lawyer, Henna Riaz, 360 Audit uncovers unpaid royalties without harming sensitive commercial relationships. Underpayments can occur for a number of reasons including accounting errors, unreported benchmarking and errors on the royalty rate.

Acting for businesses across all creative industry sectors, clients include BBC Worldwide, EMI, Nickelodeon, Liverpool Football Club, Gary Barlow and Jamie Oliver.

In 2014 Henna’s team of ten multilingual specialist auditors recovered more than £3m in unpaid royalties.

Gateley LLP

John Burns and the Gateley team have been the friendly face of legal services within the brand licensing industry for many years. Through their provision of seminars both here and abroad they have helped educate many of those now working within the brand licensing industry.

Gateley acts for a huge range of those involved in brand licensing, whether that be external investors (e.g Palatine Private Equity’s investment into Character World) exciting new kids’ brands (e.g London Studio, Crep Protect, We are Bloom etc), established businesses (the Partnership, Norton Brands, Bang on the Door) or renowned brands (Manchester City FC, Canterbury, La Tasca) – and always delivers first class commercial advice.

Rainbow Productions

In addition to flying the flag for British high-quality manufacturing by supplying mascots on a regular basis to the world’s largest sporting events such as the Olympic Games and football World Cups, Rainbow Productions has striven, over three decades, to bring benefits to licensors, licensees, retailers and consumers alike.

Rainbow manufactures and manages over 100 children’s costume characters under licence, providing professional appearances of celebrity characters in stores, shopping centres and other live event venues across the UK.

Licensors receive royalties and a boost to brand image via high-value public engagement, whilst licensees and retailers see increased merchandise sales across all categories.

Skew Studios

Skew is a diverse team of creative talent brought together by Oliver Dyer in 2003 to focus on trend information for the entertainment industry. They built on their background in forecasting to go on to develop high profile consumer product programs in the entertainment, sports, personality and brand sectors.

The agency has been nominated as Unsung Hero by ITV Global Entertainment for their work on Thunderbirds Are Go. With a decades worth of experience working with brands that are preparing for a major launch, Skew were the ideal choice of creative partner. Skew showed that it understood that real rescue was an essential thematic element of the brand’s narrative that would translate brilliantly into great creative and real play patterns. Their team had the experience of building and managing a creative process between production, IP owner and third parties from a very early stage right through to delivery.

With Thunderbirds Are Go, Skew translated TV’s brand strategy into a creative strategy. It developed an asset delivery pipeline to art direct and manage all the CGI artwork destined for the style-guide being generated by the production company out of New Zealand. And finally Skew translated the creative assets from the show into a world class, commercial consumer products style-guide, brand bible, broadcast and marketing kits.

Paul Windle Designs

Paul Windle Design is one of the world’s leading creative art studios. Established in 1989, it has grown to become the studio of choice for renowned global brands, licensees and licensors such as The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Virgin Atlantic, TOMY and Ravensburger, to name but a few.

With over 25 years experience working for the toy, game, entertainment and consumer product sectors of the brand licensing industry, the specialist creative services offered by Paul Windle Design support the brand licensees and licensors.

The studio’s talented artists and designers work closely with the brand leaders to generate imaginative concepts and design innovative products. Their flexible approach and adaptable skills have been refined to reflect the huge range of licensed character and style guides in the marketplace. The team produces high quality traditional and digital 3D illustrations, graphic design and artwork for both the finished product and the packaging.

During 2014, Paul Windle Creative Art Studio has supported many global clients and brands. One of the standout achievements during this year was creating the iconic ‘Birthday Girl’ Flying Lady livery for Virgin Atlantic.

Kids Industries

Creative marketing agency Kids Industries makes children’s brands stronger by delivering award-winning insight, strategy and content.

The team’s in-depth research and marketing initiatives for top names in the industry including Disney, Entertainment One, Aardman Animation, Mattel and CPLG, has cemented their reputation as the go-to agency for family brands.

The company recently scooped the ‘Best Pre–School Website’ award for the build and design of Peppa Pig’s global website, at the Kidscreen iKids Awards.

Bionic Communications

Bionic Communications is a creative digital studio rooted in supporting the licensing and broadcast industry. The team claims to “quietly go about our business”, extending brands into the digital space and delivering engaging audience focused experiences online and within the app space.

The company also supports broadcasters, rights owners and licensees with their digital marketing and promotional needs. Partners include eOne, Disney, CBBC, CBeebies, Channel 5, Fremantle, Platinum Films, Max Publishing, Start Licensing, Roy Lowe & Sons and more.

Over the past year Bionic has broken online visitor records to CBeebies; delivered revolutionary brand focused digital experiences for Channel 5/Milkshake; helped launch new events for Max Publishing; supported the licensing industry to promote their brands online (B2C and B2C) including Peppa Pig, Matt Hatter, Tree Fu Tom, Strange Hill High, Pip Ahoy, Henri Le Worm, Wanda and the Alien and many, many more; supported the Light Fund team – from cycling to the North Pole and back to managing the charity’s digital presence.

The People Awards take place on Thursday April 29th at Sway Bar, London.

Tickets are priced at just £79 and can be purchased by clicking here.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jodie Holdway via or Carole Eagles via, or call 01992 535647 to find out more.

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