Licensing used to involve peripheral concerns flogging naff goods. But businesses are now clamouring to boost brand awareness by licensing smart products, writes Alan Mitchell.
It's a big occasion at Covent Garden: Wagner's Ring Cycle is in progress. Halfway through the five-and-a-half-hour marathon, exhausted opera buffs crowd through the foyer to sip champagne and wolf down prawn sandwiches. Lounging on the stairs is a trendy young man, feet outstretched.