Five minutes with Gary Halfacre

How did you get into production?

I went to a family Christmas party, my Mum asked Gary Whipps if there were any jobs for a junior in his Studio at BMP and voilà, the rest is history.

After 35 years here I have certainly got some lovely memories to share, buy me a pint and a sausage roll and I can certainly reminisce…Boom!

Who most inspires you?

Anyone who can talk well, I love to listen to clever people or people who can do something so well, they make it look easy.

What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?

Get on the 6.10am train, put Radio 4 on and fall asleep.

Arrive at Victoria, pick up City A.M. and have a fast walk across Hyde Park.

Have breakfast at Dylan the Dog. Glorious.

What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?

Luckily, I got in because of someone I knew, I would start by learning from the person who sits next to you, then once you know what you’re doing, help them… after that, strive to be the best at anything you do but not to the detriment of those you work with, that’s nasty.

It must have felt wonderful being awarded Legend of the Decade recently, what has been your favourite project you have worked on?

The Star Trek: Enterprise, I had to make one out of cardboard tubes for The Financial Times.

You get a lot of out of scope requests, what has been the strangest one?

I made a larger Kleenex tissue box to advertise a porn channel in New Zealand. I also made a life-sized cut-out of a British Gas engineer that had a real flame coming out of the top of his thumb (I used a real gas bottle).

You are allowed to take one item to a deserted island, what would it be?

A machete… then I could make a boat or a hut… and break open coconut shells to drink the juice, am I reading too much into this?

If you could do any other job, what would it be?

A handyman, then I could have a van with my name on it. 😀

What is your favourite quote?

“Reach for the moon and at the very least you will be a star.”

If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be and why?

The Thing, I’m a bit of a lump like him, not very agile but he’s a good person who does his best for the team.

It’s beginning to look a lot like… our 10 year anniversary

This is a very special end of the year for us here at gutenberg global. We turned 10 and to say a huge thank you to our team we ran a 5 day gutenbirdy prize draw Christmas bonanza. We look forward to showing you more of gutenbirdy in 2020. Season’s Greetings from all of the team.

Five minutes with Maria Mandalenaki a.k.a. Mrs. Hasbro

What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?

I know you may expect something inspirational like a gastronomic breakfast, a unique meditation, an amalgam of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga… sorry to spoil the expectations, but it is as ordinary as an alarm ringing and me trying to do my makeup half asleep.

What is it about Hasbro that gets you up in the morning?

Must be the toys and games… I once read that inside every adult there's still a child that lingers, I guess mine is super-sized.

And the Hasbro teams. They are all great, an amazing bunch of people. In every market visit, I just fall in love with the teams.

Then there is the gutenberg team, my team, the people I spend every day with. If I was trying to describe the ideal team, I would just wish to work with people like them.

And what is your favourite Hasbro brand?

It’s not a secret, I have had a soft spot for My Little Pony since I was 5, almost 20 years now (wink wink).

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was changing my mind every so often, depending on what I read or watched on TV. A vet, a scientist, a journalist and the list goes on…

The most important thing is that now, regardless of what I was dreaming as a kid, I have a job that I love, enjoy and want to be good at every day...

What has been your favourite project you have worked on?

It’s hard to pinpoint one. It has been a very interesting and extremely productive year.

Travelling around the markets to meet the teams, bringing new markets on board and transferring projects to our new platform with exciting tools. This new platform has helped to transform the way we are working, giving us the opportunity to offer a bigger range of deliverables along with more exibility and further savings for our clients.

What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?

Dream big, stay humble. And never give up.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

No doubt it’s Greece! It’s the food, the people, the beaches, the sun. Everything!

If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be?

Captain Marvel. Wouldn’t that be cool to be able to shoot energy blasts from your hands?

What quote do you live by?

I have two…

An inspirational one. ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’

And a practical one. ‘In case of doubt, overdress.’

9 tips for travelling with less plastic

Our Queen of Recycling Teresa Lopez-Mezquita, offers her best tips on how to be kind to the environment whilst enjoying your travels.

Here comes the run

Well done to the adam&eveDDB Sprintathon 2019 team members for being mad enough to hit the running tracks last Thursday in the sweltering 30+ degrees heat. A special shout out to gutenberg’s very own Beth Palma and Gemma Hughes.

Please click here to sponsor

Will your campaign resonate at a local level?

Our CultureMe service offering puts the strength of our network behind your idea at every stage of development, from initial strategy and insight, to linguistic and cultural consultation, all the way into production. It’s multichannel, multicultural and multilingual and supports the development of a global campaign that packs a punch locally. Click on the film above, to learn more.

Waves and breaks

Spring brings with it a few changes at gutenberg HQ – here is our round up.

Our account management team is growing with the recent addition of Jamie Onisto who has been working on Cisco. Well done to Teresa Lopez-Mezquita and Elena Iacob for being promoted to Account Directors. Congratulations to Ludovica Melica for her promotion to Managing Producer and Dylan Pugh for his promotion to Junior Producer. Lastly, a big congrats to our Head of Production Marc Dolby and Head of Print Management Phil Nunn who have both worked with us for 15 years and have been fantastic in shaping gutenberg into the company it is today.

The apprentice

Jack Christian joined gutenberg global back in July 2018 as part of our apprenticeship scheme. To mark National Apprenticeship Week he took some time out to share his experience so far.

Why the apprenticeship route?

Having taught myself the basics of web development I felt that an apprenticeship was a great opportunity to continue improving my craft and match my skills to challenges in a more focused business environment.

What was it like coming into gutenberg global? What were your first impressions of the world of work and the agency world?

It’s fair to say that coming into the gutenberg studio environment has been a steep learning curve, especially compared to places I have worked in the past. In my previous roles the work I had to do was fairly predictable which is in stark contrast to gutenberg where projects and opportunities can pop up at any moment.

What have you been working on?

I’ve done a lot of front-end development whether on the gutenberg website or building email campaigns. I have also worked on some bigger internal software projects and delivered work for Miller, Visa and VW.

What’s been the main highlight so far?

Having the opportunity to do something I enjoy every day is probably the biggest highlight.

What’s been the biggest surprise?

I have been surprised at the collaborative nature of the studio environment. Everyone, no matter what position they hold, is willing to offer help and guidance when needed.

What do you want to achieve by the end of your apprenticeship?

I have nothing specific I want to achieve but I do want to continue to improve as a developer and learn about new and exciting web technologies.

Any advice for new apprentices coming into gutenberg global?

I would say that you should take every opportunity you can find to improve your skills. Whether on smaller personal projects or offering your services on more challenging work projects. I think it is important to have as many tools at your disposal as possible and that you should seek to constantly expand your knowledge.

Five minutes with Brett Gurney, Managing Producer

What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?

I always get up at 6am when the house is quiet; I have a cup of coffee and collect my thoughts for the day. I always do this as it is the one time in my house when it is quiet. So that is my morning ritual, that’s it.

How did you get into production?

I was in a band and broke. I saw an ad in the Standard, a film company was looking for someone who could do accounts. So, I wrote a letter, applying for the position and I didn’t hear anything for weeks so I forgot about it. Then a letter eventually came through the door asking if I wanted an interview. When I went for this interview the guy said to me something along the lines of… to be honest with you when I got your letter I put it to the bottom of the pile but I have interviewed everyone else and you are the last resort, lol, and so we chatted for about 10 mins and then he asked me if I liked accounts and I said no not really. He then asked me what I was interested in and I told him I was a musician and in a band. He went silent (for what seemed like a very long time) and then said you are going to fit in perfectly here, and that is how I got a job in the film industry. I started as their bookkeeper but ended up as their MD 12 years later.

What is it about production that gets you up in the morning?

Well that’s easy, my mortgage.

What has been your favourite project you have worked?

Probably a project I did for Grant’s Whisky. It was a corporate comms film but it turned into a much bigger project. The quality was so good that they decided to create a global TVC out of the footage.

What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?

Be tenacious and patient in equal quantity. People aren’t patient and you have to be.

If you could do any other job what would it be?


What quote do you live by?

"Make someone smile and the day’s worthwhile."

Which actor would you get to play you in a movie?

Bruce Willis.

If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be?

David Bowie.

Welcome aboard!

We are pleased to welcome some new Gutenbergers to the family. Joining the account handling team we have Dominique Berti, previously at independent London agency Yes & Pepper, and Harm Kerkhof who joins us from Hogarth. Dominique will be working on Miller, GWR and Cisco whilst Harm will be focusing on JUUL. Sophie Duncan is joining us from Schawk!, to work on Visa. Lastly, Aristides Pietrangeli, previously at creative agency Doner, joins the Hasbro account in our moving image department as Senior Account Director. We are very excited about our new additions and their collective expertise.

Five minutes withEleonora Busia, Producer

What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?

I wouldn’t call it a ritual; it feels more like a race against time. A typical morning would be: wake up and think “Yeah, 5 more minutes” (bad idea); wake up a second time, start thinking about what clothes I’m going to wear, fall asleep again; 30 minutes before my train is due I jump out of bed, shower, put the kettle on (why? I don’t really have time for tea), grab some clothes, ignoring my embarrassing hair state and lack of make-up (confidence is all!); leaving, I’m suddenly overwhelmed by a weird feeling: did I forget something or is it just the uncertainty of life on a rainy day? I dash back in, grab my umbrella, and then run-for-my-life; finally, I jump on the train, the doors closing behind me… I made it! YES! And then that feeling comes back, and I realise what it was: I’ve left the kettle on.

How did you get into TV / production?

I have been drawing since I was little, so it seemed a good idea to get a BA in Design. While at uni I directed a weird short film about a guy who buys his wife at the supermarket. The film was CRAP, but I thought: I love this! This is what I want to do! I loved the hype, the teamwork, the fast pace, even the chaos of filmmaking. I had no idea what role exactly I would fit in, so I started by helping on any possible role, on and off set. A couple of years (and many jobs) later I was hired by a production company to create TV ads. I started as a Creative, but after a few months in the job I told my boss I wanted to be a Producer. He wasn’t looking for one, plus, he would have to hire a new Creative to replace me.

“And what would you do as a Producer, exactly?” asked my boss. “I’m like Mr Wolf. I solve problems”. He patted me on the back and left, and never talked about it again. I thought I had given it my best shot, and just kept writing creatives. Then, one day I walked in to the Creative office and found that all my things were gone and a stranger was sitting in my seat. Surprise! My desk had magically moved next to the other Producer, and the stranger was the new Creative! I finally got to be Mr Wolf, and I have been a Producer ever since.

What is your favourite film and why?

Labyrinth. I love everything about that movie: the looks, the special effects, the music…

And the message behind it: take care of your little brother otherwise he’ll get kidnapped by goblins (?), and an eccentric David Bowie will court you with a crystal ball (??), offer you a poisoned peach (???) and then propose to you! I mean… the 80s, right?

If you could do any other job what would it be?

When I was little I used to say: “I want to be either an astronaut or a scuba diver”.

I guess I just liked the idea of floating while working. But if I had to pick another job I would be a comic artist. I still draw as a hobby and I love it. And the sad truth is that I am not actually good at doing much else.

What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?

I went to a conference once to listen to this amazing producer. I asked him to give me some advice, and all he said was: “If you don’t give up and you are not a t*** you’ll probably make it”.

What quote do you live by?

"A word is worth a small coin, but silence is worth two." — Talmud, Megillah 18a

My dad doesn’t talk a lot, and I guess he taught me the value of being silent when you don’t have anything meaningful to say (maybe that’s why I am so bad at small talk and I get awkward at parties).

What motivates you?

Weirdly enough, what has motivated me more are the people who didn’t believe in me, because they made me want to push myself and prove them wrong. If you can turn bad feedback or experiences into something good, you are invincible!

If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be?

Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock Holmes! It must be amazing to feel incredibly smart AND have great hair at the same time.

Showing our support for Save the Children’s
Christmas Jumper Day

Visa is helping to build a better future for children. For Christmas 2018, Visa is the headline sponsor for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. This year we’ve produced the world’s first Christmas jumper with contactless donation tech, used to fundraise on the day.

Christmas Jumper Day was created within the adam&eveDDB group in 2012. It has raised a staggering £16M in the last 5 years. For 2018, Visa / Save the Children Christmas Jumpers were created out of that same group, designed by Visa Design Hub and produced by gutenberg global. We are pleased to be supporting such a great cause.

Five minutes with Kevin Clarke, Head of Design

What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?

I have a habit of waking up far too early. Then I have to convince myself that a long walk to the station is better for my health than a few minutes bus journey. On the train I read. Factual, seldom fiction. At the office it’s an espresso coffee and an all too sugary breakfast. Then it’s one of three things:

  1. Take time to learn a new design skill.
  2. Be pro-active and think of something for a future project.
  3. Get my head down and start work before the day gets busy.

How did you get into advertising?

I had an extended education studying design and art history which ended in a degree and a long list of post-nominal titles that I’ve always been too embarrassed to use. Whilst in my last year studying I often worked for a magazine and on completing my degree the work became a six-month contract.

Then I spent time at a tiny industrial and technical agency. It should have been two weeks, but the owners convinced me to stay and I worked there for four years.

One day a supplier suggested I should visit some people that would be interested in meeting me. One of those companies was BMP – the original agency here at 12 Bishop’s Bridge Road. When I joined I thought I’d last six weeks. I didn’t think I was a big advertising agency kind of person and I felt way out of my depth. I made a quiet promise to myself to work as hard as I could and hoped that talent would somehow rub off on me before I got found out, or became too scared and ran away.

Which designer most inspires you?

I’m going to be greedy and name a few: the American husband and wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames, they did some amazing work across all kinds of mediums; German born graphic designer and typographer, Otl Aicher; Finnish born designer and architect Eero Saarinen; German born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. All took their chosen skills to the very top of their professions. They all believed that good design could make the modern world a better place.

"They all believed that good design could make the modern world a better place."

What has been your favourite project you have worked on?

I rarely think retrospectively. To me, my favourite is always the next project.

What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?

Work hard. Be committed. Be passionate. Try to give back more than you take.

If you could do any other job what would it be?

As a child I would have said astronaut or pilot. The mature me would insist on something creative: architect, photographer, filmmaker perhaps, but it would have to involve design of some kind.

What is your favourite film?

This is like asking a mother to choose her favourite child, so I’m being greedy again.

Forrest Gump:

Look beyond the comedy and that annoying cliché, ‘life is like a box of chocolates.’ Through his innocence, Forrest sees the world differently to the rest of us and that touches my heart every time.

Blade Runner 2049:

The whole film is visually stunning. I especially like that moment where Ryan Gosling’s character interacts with Joi his virtual girlfriend and ‘upgrades’ her with the gift of freedom.


Small food-loving rat teaches hopeless human how to cook. Pay attention to the closing end-titles where the cartoon rats run around the wording and get up to all kinds of mischievous things – the details are superb.

What is your favourite quote?

"Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare"

Okay, not the kind of quote you imagined. Followers of the Krishna faith believe that repeated chanting of the mantra will lead them to a heightened state of consciousness. The late George Harrison, guitarist and singer/songwriter, once declared he had uttered the mantra non-stop for three days and nights. My own personal best is a very disappointing two and three-quarter minutes. It’s perhaps the reason I’m still seeking enlightenment.

Which typeface describes you best and why?

Ah.The default question to anyone who works with type. Anything seemingly simple at first glance, yet gets more complicated the closer you look.

If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be?

My choice is neither ‘super’ or much of a hero in the Marvel comic sense of the word. I’d be Tintin, the boy reporter, penned beautifully by the Belgian artist Hergé. Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, travel around the world having adventures and getting into all kinds of perilous situations. I like Tintin’s inquisitiveness, intelligence, kind heart and good nature.

Gutenberg promotes two and wins two

Gutenberg global, adam&eveDDB’s global production and adaptation agency, has picked up Gemfields and Chelsea FC as it boosts its leadership team with two senior promotions.

Chelsea FC has appointed gutenberg global as a production and studio partner. Gemfields - a leading mining company and supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones - has selected gutenberg global to support with the development and delivery of their next global campaign.

Claire Bowers who led the recent client wins has been promoted from Managing Partner to Managing Director. Meanwhile, Gary Whipps who has 45 years’ production experience has been promoted from Operations Director to Chief Operating Officer. The promotions are part of the agency’s overhaul to offer a more robust service that extends beyond that of a traditional production house and is being spearheaded by James Murphy in his role as CEO of the adam&eveDDB Group. Both Claire and Gary will report into James. The overhaul includes a rebrand from Gutenberg Networks - launched in 2009 as DDB’s in-house studio - to gutenberg global, which works on 90% of adam&eveDDB’s clients, including Volkswagen, Esso and John Lewis. gutenberg global also works with standalone clients including Hasbro, Visa & Cisco.

James Murphy, Group CEO of adam&eveDDB, said, “Gary has seen the landscape change to one where clients want more value for money when activating their campaigns. His approach is one that allows for innovation whilst staying true to traditional production methodologies, which are of huge value to both clients and procurement. Meanwhile, Claire’s vision for the business has seen it transform from a background service provider into a modern offering suited to the needs of clients in this space today.”

Keepin' it wheel for Cancer Research

On Thursday 28th June the strength of 12 gutenbergers was put to the test. Riding from London to Brighton, a not inconsiderable distance of 63 miles, in aid of Cancer Research UK, keepin’ it wheel was definitely the best approach.

Gutenberg global put forward two teams: The Wheel Deal, consisting of Mike Turnbull, Danny Courtney, Marc Van Moorsel, David Whipps, Alex Russell-Bates and Marian Popescu; and The Dirty Half Dozen, featuring Gary Halfacre, Sarah Mrowicki, Marc Dolby, Hannah Motaln, Matt Thompson and Joanne O’Toole. The smell of determination was clearly in the air from the get-go, from the 8am weekday spinning sessions to weekends of protein bars and worn-out wheels, not forgetting the off-road fancy handshakes between team members, witnessed in awe by their non-cycling colleagues. This clearly isn’t an activity for the fainthearted . . . cue Chariots of Fire? On the day, the teams were met with two angry van drivers, 25 bananas (each!), one single-speed bike and 11 energy gels. In a flash of lycra, the gutenbergers returned, 24 wheels intact and having raised £2,817.50 in total for Cancer Research. Bravo, we couldn’t be prouder!