Mr Men and Little Miss looks to EMEA licensing with industry newcomers Boutique Licensing Agency

The new, EMEA-focused licensing agency, Boutique Licensing Agency, has secured a partnership with Sanrio to represent the licensing rights for the iconic British brand, Mr Men and Little Miss across the region.

Established just this year, Boutique Licensing Agency – or BLA – is a new to the scene agency inspired by ‘a customer-centric approach and new thinking.’ The firm, however, is building on a base of experience and expertise, comprised of major names from across the global toy and entertainment space.

Heading up the BLA outfit is its founders and managing directors, Maria Maranesi and Marie-Noelle Lutte. Maranesi boasts more than 20 years of licensing experience in global organisations, including the role of EMEA regional leader across the full portfolio at Mattel and HIIT brands.

Meanwhile, also a Mattel alumni, Lutte was responsible for driving strategy, market growth, and product innovation in the publishing sector, before going on to lead publishing partnerships for The Walt Disney Company.

The other members of the BLA! team include former senior executives from the toys, publishing, entertainment and licensing sectors, all of whom bring decades of experience to the new venture – along with a network of world-class manufacturing, licensing and retail contacts.

BLA! offers across-the-board brand licensing representation services – from rights management to contract negotiation and retail activation. It also offers licensing and publishing consulting services. Its focus area covers every corner of EMEA – and beyond.

The outfit has also outlined its commitment to being a part of the transformation of licensing to become a more sustainable industry.

Now, as Mr Men and Little Miss celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, BLA will look to bring its experience in toys, publishing, and entertainment to bear on expanding the popular property into new areas beyond its key regional markets of the UK and France.

BLA! will be focusing on the markets of Iberia, GSA, Benelux, Nordic, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltics, Russia and the CIS for all product categories. The company will also manage Latin American markets for publishing rights only. 

Maranesi said: “Our aim with BLA! was to combine fresh thinking, recognised expertise and a strong network of contacts with a highly adaptable and personalized service – and we’re thrilled to be able to announce such a well-loved brand as our first representation. We’re looking forward enormously to working with Sanrio during a key year for the Mr. Men and Little Miss brand.”

Lutte added: “We are here to bring solutions that address the needs of all parties: brand owners, licensees, retailers and consumers. Building and nurturing strong relationships as a trusted and values-driven partner reinforces everything we do. In addition, the real magic happens when we transform our business opportunities into mutual win-wins.”

Silvia Figini, chief operating officer, Mr. Men – Worldwide, added: “Sanrio is happy to partner with such an innovative and flexible agency. Their attention to cultural diversity and sustainability will definitely be an important asset for our growth in Europe and is consistent with our corporate identity.

“BLA!’s expertise and strong network of contacts make them a great choice for a dynamic company like Sanrio/Mr. Men and we are sure they will support our business development significantly.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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