Jane Garner’s friends and colleagues at kilogrammedia, Sian, Sam, Robert and Vaughan, are best placed to articulate the loss: “We have some very sad news. Our dear friend and colleague Jane Garner passed away on Friday, 10th May after a short illness. Jane’s family is now planning her funeral. We will send details in the coming week.” 

Away from kilogrammedia, the loss of Jane Garner will have unsettled many across the industry including those who knew her at Toys’n’Playthings. Lema MD, Mark Naish said: “Jane’s sheer presence and character alone are a great loss. More importantly to me, she was also friendly, kind and fun and I know I’m not the only one who will miss her.”

Obituary: Jane Garner 1963 – 2024

When Jane Garner started a small specialist agency focused on public relations for the licensing and broadcasting sectors a little over 20 years ago, she had been away from the industry for a few years.

It was, however, a very welcome return to an industry she loved. Her contacts and knowledge enabled her to quickly build up a client portfolio that enabled the fledgling kilogrammedia to compete effectively with longer-established groups.

She got here in a typically roundabout and unplanned way. She drifted into journalism after leaving Reading University, working on, first, a magazine about the video industry and then, somehow, finding herself editing Pony Magazine. 

Then a friend encouraged her to apply for a PR job with CPL, now Wildbrain CPLG, and she got the post despite having done no preparation for the interview and not understanding licensing. One steep learning curve later, she was an established fixture in the industry that would define most of the rest of her working life.

“Jane was warm, funny, very well informed and well-connected, a bit mad sometimes and great company most times. She loved the collection of animals she surrounded herself with and who were her constant companions”

Though not quite all. In the late 1990s and early 2000s she had a short stint with a company whose owner disappeared, leaving the business with major debts. It was an unwelcome interval, but it did point her back in the direction of an industry she knew and missed. This time, however, she decided, bravely, not to apply for a job but to go into business for herself.

And it worked. The launch of kilogrammedia was a success – possibly because Jane’s was a very hands-on and relationship-based approach. She wouldn’t go for growth at the expense of the personal relationships she had with many of her clients, and she recruited a small but skilled team that enabled her to pursue that approach – with great success.

Over time her company had its highs and lows, surviving the usual ebb and flow of clients, occasional financial challenges and personal crises, to get close to its 20th anniversary. Then Covid happened. For kilogrammedia, like many companies, this proved a very tough time, but the company survived even this and, with the trade shows and award ceremonies where everyone knew her back on track, we all hoped for a return to the glory days of kilogrammedia.

And we still do, but it will be without Jane. When Jane was hospitalised on the day of the B&LLAs, I don’t think any of the staff of kilogrammedia believed we would be writing her obituary only a few weeks later. We can’t really believe it now, to be honest.

Jane was warm, funny, very well informed and well-connected, a bit mad sometimes and great company most times. She loved the collection of animals she surrounded herself with and who were her constant companions. She loved licensing. And she loved the many friends she made through licensing.

They, and we, will miss her.

Sian, Sam, Robert and Vaughan

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