Following a review of the Benelux business, Hit will move its management of consumer products away from agency representation, bringing it in-house. This will be led by the firm's VP of business development, Jon Owen, and a dedicated EMEA team out of the London office.
Owen and his team will represent Hit's full portfolio of brands for Benelux including Bob the Builder, Pingu, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina from January 1st 2007.
Benelux - Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - is experiencing significant growth in pre-school licensed products and entertainment. Over the past five years, Bob the Builder has sold over 1.5 million videos, Thomas & Friends over 100,000 DVDs/video and Pingu over 20,000. In addition, over three million Bob the Builder, Thomas and Pingu books and magazines have been sold in the region to date.
"The Benelux region is an important and vital area of growth for Hit's European consumer products business," said Owen. "Telescreen has created a solid foundation from which to expand and grow our consumer products programme. In 2007, our focus will remain on growing our business with new and existing licensing partners across Hit's portfolio of properties.
"In addition, new programming for Bob, Thomas and Pingu will be delivered to broadcasters in 2007/08, which will continue to drive the consumer product business as we introduce new characters and new destinations."
Meanwhile, Antonio Huab has been appointed as vice president, Asia and will be responsible for driving the Asia Pacific consumer products and TV distribution business out of Hit's recently opened office in Hong Kong.
Huab has over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry, most recently being the licensing agent for Warner Bros and Cartoon Network's consumer products business, holding the role of deputy general manager for Hong Kong, Macau and Greater China.
"From our new base in Hong Kong, we will continue to focus on growing and building world class pre-school brands in the region," offered Peter Byrne, EVP International at Hit.