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the giftware association


  • Host of new industry faces welcomed to the judging panel for 2020
  • Wynne-Jones returns as sponsor for third consecutive year
  • Entry deadline: 27 August 2020

Brand Licensing Europe has opened entries for its annual License This! competition, which gives young brands and designers a much-needed leg up into the multi-billion-dollar world of licensing and brand extension. 
This year’s judges are on the hunt for fresh, exciting new blood across two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. To qualify, entrants can hail from anywhere in the world, but they must be unsigned: not working with an agent or have any retail deals in place. Entry is free at
The finalists will be chosen on 11 September by two judging panels, including a bunch of new faces critiquing the Character & Animation category: Asda’s head of buying Ruth Golightly, GB eye’s Head of Licensing Emily Aldridge, C21 Kids editor Nico Franks and Start Licensing founder Ian Downes, who said: “Licensing is an industry that thrives on new ideas and fresh talent. It can be hard to break through sometimes, so a forum like License This! is a very welcome one as it shines a light on creativity. I look forward to seeing this year's entries. Well done BLE for driving License This forward.”
This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2021, one year’s Licensing International membership, PR support, and invaluable advice from the panel of industry experts. In addition, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have successfully signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition and are championing fellow entrepreneurs to sign up.
Last year’s joint-winner Rosie Brooks: “It was a really fun experience and it has opened so many doors for me already – I can't wait for BLE this autumn! If you’re thinking about entering this year, all the judges I spoke to said it was about the potential of the idea rather than finished and polished product lines, so if you have an idea you think has the possibility to grow, make lots of prototypes: the more you experiment, the stronger the idea will become.”

Returning judge Will Stewart, founder & MD of The Point.1888 : “License This! has never been more important. Every industry needs new young brands to be nurtured to build the opportunities of the future. There will be tonnes of home working or furloughed designers who have been doodling over the last couple of months. Be brave and submit your work - the exposure you get, the feedback you get and the confidence you will get are vital. Every year, the quality improves, and what's really impressed me is when designers come back with tweaks based on the previous year’s feedback. Last year’s winner Drew Bristow is a great example of this.”
This year’s judges are confirmed as:

  • Sarah Ward, CEO, The Giftware Association
  • Victor Caddy, director and trademark & design attorney, Wynne-Jones
  • Kirsty Barr, client services manager, Wynne-Jones

Character & Animation award 

  • Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo Promotions                                      
  • Clare Piggott, managing director, Larkshead Media
  • Ruth Golightly, head of buying, Asda
  • Emily Aldridge, head of licensing, GB eye
  • Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing
  • Nico Franks, editor, C21 Kids

Brand & Design award

  • Stuart Cox, owner, I Like Birds
  • Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates                                      
  • Sarah Lawrence, director, This is Iris                                
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, JEHANE  
  • Will Stewart, founder and managing director, The Point.1888

Entry is free at

For media information:
Charlie Le Rougetel at BIGTOP, 07736 330676,

About Brand Licensing Europe
Launched in 1998, Brand Licensing Europe is the only pan-European annual event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. The London event features over 2,500 brands and more than 7,500 licensees, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and licensing agents. Brand Licensing Europe is a part of the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, the licensing industry's leading tradeshow organiser and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together.

About Global Licensing Group
The Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets is the licensing industry’s leading tradeshow organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together. The following events and information products are produced for the licensing industry by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai, The Licensing Leadership Summit, License Global magazine, and License Global Daily E-News. Global Licensing Group events are sponsored by Licensing International.

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