Penguin Ventures is the licensing and consumer products division at Penguin Books UK. As part of our Children’s publishing house, the Ventures team manage and optimise our portfolio of iconic literary brands and characters: Peter Rabbit, The Snowman, Spot, Flower Fairies, and more, across product, experience, and digital. We find new ways to tell the world’s favourite stories by creating strategic partnerships in licensing, retail, promotions, experiential, theatrical, exhibitions; in location-based experiences; and across the digital landscape.
The team work with best-in-class licensing partners across all categories to ensure our brands are represented by quality, innovation, and design-led product development. Ventures take pride in having our strong relationships with retailers, ensuring continued visibility for our brands through in-store positioning and cross-category promotions.
Their activities include the production of immersive and exciting experiences, music and theatre, allowing our characters and stories to leap off the page creating special memories for generations of fans. As we own an extensive collection of original artwork, from Beatrix Potter, Cicely Mary Barker and Ladybird Books, this can also involve working with international galleries and museums to showcase these national treasures, offering continued public access and education around the history of our brands.
Each of our brands is represented across dedicated digital and social platforms. Ventures’ website and social media teams create exciting, relevant content to ensure that the audience for each brand remains engaged and entertained.
Outside of the Children’s Ventures team, our Permissions & Content Licensing team within the Contracts & Business Affairs team, handle the wider Penguin permissions.
They are responsible for licensing extracts from our books to third parties, and working with Film and TV companies to allow the use of our books as props in their productions. Penguin titles for example were used in the Barbie movie, the Kew ‘Celebrating Queer Nature’ exhibition, and Netflix’s Heartstopper series.
We generally refer to a ‘permission’, as a license granted to a third party, allowing them to use an extract of one author’s work in the third party’s publication or campaign. Books are protected by copyright law, and permission must be obtained from the rights owner to reuse extracts, illustrations, and cover art, unless the use is covered by the Fair Dealing exception.
They receive a huge variety of permission requests from authors, publishers, exam boards, charities and TV, film and radio producers each year – so lots of work goes into managing these requests with key stakeholders.