Lovehoney’s Slateford talks business with BBC as Broad City launches in NYC

Posted: August 9, 2017

Lovehoney is now shipping its Broad City Official Pleasure Collection, the company’s brand partnership with the US hit comedy series Broad City. The range was launched at a high profile press party in New York on August 8th and Lovehoney co-founder Neal Slateford subsequently appeared on BBC Worldwide’s Talking Business show, where he discussed the new collaboration with Comedy Central as well as speaking about the growth of the global sex toy industry.

Host Aaron Heslehurst explained how mainstream the industry has now become, and how a once ‘niche’ sector is now set to be worth more than $50 billion by 2020. Slateford commented: “If someone like Comedy Central is willing to partner with us, it just shows you how mainstream this category is becoming. We set out to make a world class shopping environment that was non-sleazy, educational and most of all fun. It’s actually couples who are having a whale of a time in the bedroom. It’s women who are buying – 70% of our customers classify themselves as being in long-term relationships.”

Heslehurst also commented on the fact that the Fifty Shades Effect was an important factor in making the category more mainstream, with Slateford agreeing that it had undoubtedly provided a ‘boost’ to the industry with over three million units of the official Fifty Shades of Grey Pleasure Collection sold worldwide. The clip can be seen here.

The Broad City Official Pleasure Collection, which officially launched to the trade at July’s ANME, is Lovehoney’s first with a TV show, following its success with rock bands (Motörhead, Mötley Crüe) fashion brands, (Tokidoki), sex experts (Tracey Cox) and Fifty Shades of Grey. Starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the show is described as an odd couple comedy about two best friends whose adventures always lead down unexpected and outlandish paths. It is based on the pair’s real-life friendship and their attempts to ‘make it’ in New York as two women in their twenties. Ilana seeks to avoid working as much as possible while Abbi pursues a career as an illustrator. Lovehoney says the show is particularly noted for its frank and funny portrayal of sex, and has featured many sex toys, including a memorable scene that introduced pegging to a mainstream TV audience for the first time.

Steve Raizes, SVP consumer products for Viacom’s Global Entertainment Group, said: “Comedy Central is thrilled to team up with Lovehoney on this collection that expresses the bold, unique and sex-positive voice of Broad City. We are excited to bring these innovative and high quality products to fans of the show.”

The products have been designed and developed in-house as has all packaging, POS and brand marketing collateral. Kate Hodgson-Egan, Lovehoney international sales manager, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Broad City range is shipping now! The range was very popular when it launched at the ANME Founders Show. Visitors to our stand loved the bright and fun packaging of the products and eye-catching POS, perfect for in-store displays or windows. The new season of Broad City premieres in the US on the 13th September so get your orders in as soon as possible.”

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