chapter  22
9 Pages

Merchandising rights

The term ‘merchandising’ is applied to the exploitation of a character, personality or design from one medium by licensing its use in the context of another medium. Merchandising may take two forms: the direct reproduction of the character or design as another product such as a soft toy, or on a T-shirt, stationery, bed linen or wallpaper, where it will form the main feature; or to endorse an existing brand-name product or service such as a breakfast cereal, a yoghurt, fast food, petrol or banking. The key areas for merchandising are clothing and accessories, health and beauty, toys and games, homeware, stationery, publishing (where books are derived from characters which originated in another medium such as film or television), music, videos, DVDs, computer games (including online and interactive products) and mobile phones, and food and drink items. The total retail value of merchandised items worldwide was estimated to be US $175.3 billion in 2004; value in the UK is estimated at more than £8 billion per annum, with royalty income of over £400 million. In the UK, grocery items are currently estimated to hold a 30% share of the merchandising market, with clothes and other textile items holding a further 20%, toys and games 15%, and fast-moving consumer goods 10%.