Former Grey boss Paul Gardner launches ‘quintessentially Melbourne’ consultancy

Paul Gardner

Paul Gardner

Paul Gardner, the former chairman of Grey Global Group Australia and New Zealand, has launched his own consultancy.

Gardner left Grey just over a year ago after twenty years with the WPP agency, and severed non-executive ties at the end of March to set up his own firm, Paul Gardner Consulting.

“I offer a new look through old eyes. I’m going to market to people who value my experience with multinationals, growing businesses and making them more profitable,” he told Mumbrella.

“I loved Grey, and I loved WPP – despite what everyone says about them. But it was time for me to move on and do my own thing, get out and talk to people rather than sit in front of a screen staring at numbers all day,” he said.

Gardner’s new venture comes soon after former Ogilvy executive chairman Tom Moult and ex-JWT CEO also launched their own consultancy businesses.

Gardner said: “What makes me stand out is that I’m quintessentially Melbourne. I ran Grey for 20 years, Melbourne Football Club [as president between 2003 and 2008], Malthouse Theatre [as chairman] and worked with the Transport Accident Commission. I know how Melbourne works.”

One of his first initiatives is backing new research into how to keep staff happy.

Called ESP – short for Engagement, Satisfaction, Performance – the study asks employees to complete an online questionnaire to work out factors such as how well they fit in an organisation and how passionate they are about working there.

“It’s rare to find a study that genuinely links employee satisfaction with performance, and is not cost prohibitive,” he said.

Since Gardner left Grey, he has been working on a project for Australian boutique spirits firm ASM Liquor. His next project is “a different kind of brand experience company” that is to launch in the coming weeks.

Update: Gardner has now released details of the new business which is to be called Dig&Fish and will focus on brand strategy, public relations, experiential marketing and digital communication.

The announcement:

Dig Marketing Group, 2Fish Management and former Grey Group Chairman, Paul Gardner today announced the formation of a new marketing communications business specialising in brand connection – Dig&Fish.

Dig&Fish expertise includes; brand strategy, public relations, experiential marketing and digital communication.

Owned and managed by respected leaders in their fields, Dig Marketing Group’s Angie Bradbury assumes the role of Founder and Managing Director and Caroline Ryan from 2Fish is Founder and Vision Director.  Paul Gardner assumes the role of Executive Chairman and Glen Ryan, Creative Director.

Paul said “having recently left the world of above the line advertising, my view is that true brand engagement is a function of real time connection. It’s an active association as opposed to the passive one which has come to define traditional media.  When I met Angie and Caroline and saw what they were doing, we recognised the opportunity to create a new kind of business – one with engagement and connection at the heart of what we do.”

Caroline went on to say, “Angie and I have built similar successful, yet complementary businesses and the more we learnt about each other’s companies and clients the greater opportunities we identified for a seamless, multi-channel approach to consumer engagement and brand experience.”

Dig&Fish is headquartered in Melbourne and the 2Fish office in Sydney will expand to support the growth of the business.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.