A solid sign of the maturation of the French licensing industry, the first meeting of the French Licensing Federation (F2D2) took place in Paris on March 10. The Federation is currently made up of 28 France-based licensors and licensing agents, including F2D2
president and director of licensing at Marathon Media, Patricia De Wilde, and VP and treasurer Franck Cymes, France Télévisions Distribution’s director of licensing and events.
F2D2′s first order of business will be trying to pin down the legitimate value of the industry in the European country. A 2006 estimate of the size of the French L&M industry rang in at US$5 billion in annual retail sales, but there is currently no reliable data to ascertain what that number is today.
‘Our main goal is to collect data, so we can evaluate just that,’ says Big Bocca
TV & Licensing MD, Marie-Laure Marchand, who was elected VP and general secretary of the organization. ‘We are going to be collecting financial information, so we will be able to communicate the power of this industry to the French government and others.’
Marchand estimates it will take about a year to pin down figures. In the meantime, F2D2 will be looking to make its first official appearance at the Kazachok International Licensing Forum taking place on April 8 and 9 in Paris, and will use the opportunity to build its membership base.
‘We want to extend our membership to retailers and licensees,’ says Marchand. ‘We want to have a lot more people on-board. This isn’t just about entertainment licensing but also sports, fashion and more.’ She adds F2D2 will be arranging conferences and information sessions on topics such as cross-border licensing issues (a particular concern in Europe), brand-building and the ins and outs of licensing agreements. The organization is also looking to have a presence at Licensing Show in Las Vegas this June.
As well, representatives of the organization have already met with members of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and are hoping to work together in the future on potential joint events and conferences. ‘We are very interested to be working in collaboration with them,’ says Marchand.