Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products: interview with Mark Kingston
At BLE 2018 Licensing Italia interviewed Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International, Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products
L.I. In terms of CP, what does the European marketplace represent for Viacom, particularly the Italian one?
Mark Kingston: The European market is very important and challenging for us and Italy is one of the top five European countries. The growth could be high, although recently in many European countries there are some arising problems that could impact on the licensing industry also. In Italy our business is growing up on preschool and kid-owned channels such as Nickjr (Sky channel 603), Nickelodeon (Sky channel 605) and on FTA partners such as Super !.
Otherwise we are on target throughout all platforms to guarantee visibility and good exposure of all our brands.
We have very ambitious and realistic goals and we are confident we can grow a lot.
L.I. How are you organized outside the USA?
M.K. Outside the USA we have nine direct offices; otherwise in some territories the business is managed by agencies with extreme flexibility.
In Italy we manage our properties directly from 2011. We created an internal structure led by Nadia Caron, Senior Licensing Director Italy, Greece and Turkey.
She leads a team of six people. We are very satisfied about this choice: results are very positive.
L.I. What are the most important product categories for your business?
M.K The most important categories for us are Toys, Softlines and immediate consumer categories such as Food, Health and Beauty, etc are out most important categories. In all countries we are on target across all platforms.
L.I. Can you tell us more about the forthcoming launch of the new series “RISE OF TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES” and the first amazing results of the new series TOP WING? What licensing strategy are you developing in 2019 around these franchises?
M.K. The release of the new Turtles series is scheduled for October 2018 on Nickelodeon (Sky channel 605). Our Master Toy partner is Playmate. A line of toys will be launched at the BTS 2019. The distribution will be managed by Giochi Preziosi in Italy, UK, Spain, France and Benelux. After the Toys category, products related to the other categories will be released.
Turning to Top Wings, the audience data are excellent, we are very satisfied. Our Master Toy global partner is Hasbro; in 2019 three main lines dedicated to Top Wings will be launched: vehicles, action figures and plushes.
L.I. You’ve recently acquired the rights management for Paramount’s library: how are you going to develop them?
M.K. We have recently started working on the Paramount Classic catalog with properties like Grease, Il Padrino, A Breakfast at Tiffany, Top Gun particularly suitable for product development in the Fashion and Accessories categories, driving in this context.
We will also manage the upcoming films, for which we will begin to set up a cross category licensing development starting in 2020, to make the most of this great opportunity.