Consultative Committee webinar - "Unleashing the power of branding in the postal sector"

The Consultative Committee held a webinar, "Unleashing the power of branding in the postal sector", on 14 May 2024.
Left to right: Nicolas Loufrani, Benjamin Combes, Antony Harris, Walter Trezek, and Matthew Parkes.

The Consultative Committee held a webinar, "Unleashing the power of branding in the postal sector", on 14 May 2024.

Animated by Walter Trezek, CC Chair, and Benjamin Combes, the UPU International Bureau’s Philately and IRC Programme Manager, the panel welcomed some outstanding guests who shared success stories of collaboration with brands. Nicolas Loufrani, the CEO of Smiley Company, unveiled the underside of Smiley’s collaboration with France’s La Poste Groupe. Antony Harris (NZ Post) explained the importance of the Lord of the Rings stamps in exporting the culture and identity of New Zealand abroad, and Matthew Parkes (Royal Mail) provided some valuable insights on why creativity, rather than the available resources, was the key factor underlying Royal Mail's successful collaboration with the Olympic Games in 2012.

As a final word, Walter Trezek introduced the CC's upcoming brand licensing initiative, which aims to offer designated operators the possibility of connecting with regional and global brands through its shared service centre.


Nicolas Loufrani, CEO, The Smiley Company

Nicolas is the CEO of The Smiley Company, one of the 50 largest intellectual property (IP) licensors in the world (source: License Global Top 150), working with over 450 licensees across 13 industries. Created by Nicolas's father, Franklin Loufrani, in 1972, Smiley has diversified its activities into many areas, ranging from the non-profit sector (the Smiley Movement) to the film industry (the Smiley Charity Film Awards).

Antony Harris, Head of Stamps and Collectables, New Zealand Post

Antony is Head of Collectables at NZ Post, where he leads a dynamic team in the creation and promotion of commemorative stamps, coins and other collectable items. The Collectables division operates as a semi-autonomous unit within NZ Post, balancing creative design with strategic business management. The division spearheads projects that reflect New Zealand’s rich culture, heritage and history, while enhancing the visibility and profitability of the Post. Antony also oversees all aspects of product design, programming, production, customer service, digital commerce and marketing across multiple channels, including online sales, retail and wholesale. Antony has built partnerships with key stakeholders such as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Warner Brothers, Disney and Penguin Books. Negotiations have secured licensing agreements, supporting releases celebrating the Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Way of the Water, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy, FIFA, the All Blacks and Black Ferns, and NZ Post’s first digital stamps.

Matthew Parkes, Managing Director, Stamps and Collectibles, Royal Mail Group

Matthew has been Managing Director of Stamps and Collectibles at Royal Mail since 2015. He has pivoted what was a philatelic unit in decline into a growing and sustainable IP licensing and collectibles business. A key success factor has been the development of a new content strategy, acquiring major licences (from Transformers and Star Trek to Blackadder and the Rolling Stones), and creating products that have wide appeal outside of the philatelic market while maintaining content and product options that retain core philatelic collectors.

Walter Trezek, Chair of the UPU Consultative Committee, and Co-Chair of Ecommerce Europe with responsibility for e-logistics and taxation

Benjamin Combes, Philately and International Reply Coupons Programme Manager, UPU (moderator)

The webinar will be soon available on the CC webpage.