MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Jane Garner

A 14-year licensing industry veteran, Garner arrived in the business via a stint at Pony Magazine, and, amongst her other responsibilities now, has continued the animal theme, feeding tortoises and rearing chickens...
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Name:
Jane Garner

Time spent in licensing industry:
About 14 years I think – I started just after I left junior school...

First job in licensing:
Head of PR at CPL. I was perfectly suited to the job having previously edited Pony Magazine (bizarrely with Nick Austin from Vivid’s wife) and prior to that been a film journalist with occasional income boosting stints writing the letters for Penthouse – that’s right guys they weren’t all real.

What were your responsibilities?
To promote CPL and its clients through the trade media. Sounds easy but when you have never practised PR and don’t know your licensor from your licensee it’s a challenge. Luckily the press were all very kind to me and were very patient as I learned to understand what on earth I should be doing. I think suggesting we offer wine as well as juice at the various launch events CPL held helped to curry their favour.

Current job in licensing:
Joint director of Kilogrammedia which is a PR agency specialising in working with companies involved in the licensing and broadcast industries.

What are your responsibilities?
There is no aspect of the business that I am not involved in (except IT which I’m useless at), but my core focuses are in terms of bringing new business on board and working with my brilliant colleagues to ensure that our clients gain the best exposure to the audience they are focusing on via trade and/or consumer media. And I feed the company tortoise (George, pictured).

What is your greatest achievement so far?
It has to be starting Kilogrammedia. The company has been running since 2001 and came about as a result of my boss at the time running away to Thailand and taking all the money which left myself and the rest of the staff high and dry! It was not the best of times, but was the spur needed to get me back into the thankfully welcoming arms of the licensing industry and this time with my own business so preventing a repeat performance.

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
I love them all of course. I do particularly enjoy working with properties that have had little exposure and through repeated coverage bringing them to the front of their targeted audiences minds.

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?
Between our various clients we work with some fabulous properties. There are plenty more out there I’d be keen to get my hands on though and I’d love to work on a property involving chickens – sadly under exposed are chickens… (those who know me are aware I have a veritable smallholding in my back garden).

If you could choose your dream job in licensing, what would it be and why?
I guess it has to be mine – based on the realisation that if I won the lottery I know I’d still be keen to get to my desk the next day, be it with a massive hangover.

What's the best thing about working in the licensing industry?
The best thing has to be the people and drive, enthusiasm and plain fun they bring to the business. Once you’re in it, the licensing industry is like Hotel California – ‘You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave’ – and frankly, who would want to?

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