Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) is planting its flag in North American soil for the first time in the company’s 34-year history, setting up a brand-new satellite office in Toronto, Canada.
Given CPLG’s acquisition by The Cookie Jar Group last summer, the move to add a Canadian operation to its collection of international outposts (spanning the UK, Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain) seemed to make a lot of sense. Former Cookie Jar marketing SVP Kelly Elwood has been tapped to head up the new outfit and will manage a property portfolio that includes Cookie Jar mainstays such as Caillou and Doodlebops, as well as properties acquired with the purchase of DIC Entertainment this past summer. However, Elwood says that the office will be looking beyond the Cookie Jar library to secure rights to third-party IP.
‘Cookie Jar is one client,’ notes Elwood, explaining the arm’s-length relationship between CPLG and its parent company. ‘There are quite a few third-party properties within the entertainment sphere that I think we will be acquiring in the short-term.’
Plans to staff up are also in the works, with a focus on bolstering the sales department first.
Elwood sees a land of opportunity for a number of the company’s licenses that have yet to be fully exploited in the Great White North. ‘First we will build out to service publishing, hard lines and soft lines,’ she says. ‘I see the next couple of years being opportunistic in terms of working with what we have, and then we will settle into trying to find the next big hit.’
Infant- and toddler-focused Mommy and Me is among the first properties Elwood will concentrate on building up in the Canadian licensing market, which generates roughly US$4.5 billion a year in retail sales. The playgroup-centric property has recently taken hold in the US and Elwood sees no reason why that success can’t be replicated north of the 49th parallel.
‘It is definitely a focus for us in the next year,’ she says. ‘I see it across all categories. It can span the entire infant and preschool space.’