Q&A With Lisa Gumbleton

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Client Service Director and Partner at Marmalade Melbourne.

I’ve been in the advertising business for more years than I haven’t been in the business, so I’ve seen and worked on a lot of things. I love working with clients to unearth the best answers. And this doesn’t mean only creating great ads. I’ve created a toilet paper brand from scratch, launched an airline called Virgin Blue, worked on a chemical fertiliser brand that has taken me to all corners of this country, travelled internationally with Emirates and spoken to women about chainsaws. But what I’m most passionate about is working for causes like beyondblue, violence against women and stroke. Where what we do can make a difference to people’s lives. I’ve worked in strategy and account service roles at Mojo MDA, J. Walter Thompson, George Patterson, cummins&partners and Marmalade.

Who (or what) inspires you?

People like Lyn White at Animals Australia who works tirelessly (it seems) to change the world. Her stance and continued drive to stop cruelty to animals inspires me everyday. When my husband goes on one of his health kicks and discovers all these amazingly wonderful cures for health issues. He’s the most intense researcher I’ve ever met. A great trait for this industry, even though he’s not in it.

How did you get your first break?

I grew up in Perth and was working in a café on the weekends when I was studying. One of our regulars was a lawyer, we got talking and he was on the board of the Film & Television Institute with a copywriter in an ad agency. I got to meet his friend, the copywriter, one day at the café and he said the agency needed a receptionist/office manager. I went for the interview, got the job. And the rest is history. Obviously I worked my way up from the receptionist thing, but I know that there are many people, like Marie Jackson, who did the same thing. Advertising does reward talent, dedication and hard work.

Tell us what you are currently working on...

A new brand identity and awareness campaign for the Stroke Foundation. A campaign for 1800RESPECT about the global 16 Days of Action against gendered violence. A campaign for The Line with Our Watch, targeting teenage boys and helping them form healthy relationships. And so they’re not all in a righteous theme we’re working with VicRoads on Custom Plates campaigns.

Top tips for someone wanting to go down the account service path?

Demonstrate an understanding and passion for strategy, because without that you won’t progress.

Be enthusiastic about ads because that’s the business we’re in!

Don’t leave your work behind when you walk out of work.

Ricky Mutsaers