Paul Gardener

Managing Director

  • LocationUnited Kingdom

About me


I am an articulate, creative business leader with 22 years' management experience in the UK and around the world. My core expertise is in marketing and brand strategy, marketing communications, and client relationship management, but I also have extensive commercial, business development and general management experience. I've been hired twice by four different employers, and enjoy a reputation for strong leadership, energy, and strategic perception; I’m now looking for a senior leadership role with a dynamic, customer-centric brand organization, progressive creative agency or an incubator / accelerator.



  • Advertising
  • Creative Agency
  • Business Development
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Problem Solving
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Communications
  • Client Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Creative Thinking
  • Relationship Management
  • Ideas Development

Work history


Managing Director & Strategist


Jul 2015
  • Soluble is a consultancy business focusing on working with SME clients to unlock problems related to business, marketing and brand strategy; commercial relationships; and operational effectiveness. I started it because I believe the strategic, commercial and client management experience I've gained from a range of creative businesses at a senior level puts me in a good position to be objective, incisive and direct in helping businesses achieve more. Recent assignments: - Marketing strategy consultancy for a household fmcg brand planning a brand extension - Planning direction for a boutique design and innovation consultancy - Commercial direction / operations for a mobile app start-up


Managing Director

Beta High50

Mar 2013 - Apr 2015
  • Independent advertising agency Client sector experience: Delivery & Logistics (Royal Mail); OTA (; Airlines (CityJet); Media (London Evening Standard, Independent, i, London Live); Charities (Water Aid, National Autistic Society); Gaming (, Virgin Games)


Group Business Development Director

THE Mill

Feb 2011 - Mar 2013
  • Global, market-leading PE-backed digital media company with 650 employees and £100m turnover. I was responsible for managing senior client relationships worth £10m annually with Ford, Wrigley, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser, and brokering commercial partnerships with new clients, which included coaching the MD and senior teams on client relationship management and marketing strategy. After 16 months in London, I spent six more at the New York office.


New Business Director

Dentsu London

Apr 2010 - Feb 2011
  • Start-up London office for the world’s largest advertising agency. I led the agency’s new business drive as it established itself as a new brand in the London market. Responsibilities included sales pipeline management, lead generation, pitch project management, client relationship management, marketing and PR. I delivered the winning pitch for the £5m Tetley Tea business across Europe, won £500k in revenue from The Pokemon Company and Metro newspaper, and supervised those clients post-pitch.


Managing Partner

Mccann Erickson

Feb 2008 - Mar 2010
  • London office and European HQ of Interpublic’s agency network with 200 people and £100m billings. Part of the agency’s leadership team, I managed Global or Pan-European relationships with Sony Ericsson, UPS, and MasterCard, worth over £5m annual revenue to the London office. As well as strategic and creative leadership, I was responsible for recruiting and managing integrated teams in London and other regional hubs. I also ran the London Evening Standard newspaper account, and was responsible for developing Pulse, the agency’s trends and data analysis unit.


Managing Partner


Apr 2007 - Feb 2008
  • Privately owned boutique branding agency with 30 people and offices in London and New York Hired as the company’s most senior client relationship professional to help the company diversify beyond the core offering, and to promote excellence in client service. I pitched and delivered strategy and identity projects for clients including BT, Vodafone, Royal Armouries and a number of start-ups, and led a team of six.


Board Account Director & Deputy Head OF Account Management


Jan 2002 - Apr 2007
  • Leading light in WPP’s Y&R network with 200 employees and class-leading reputation for creativity and effectiveness. Over five years, I led strategic and creative relationships with News International (The Times and Sunday Times), Powergen / EON, COI / Home Office Crime Prevention, Budweiser, Starbucks, Virgin Trains, Virgin Megastores, and Virgin Money, running multiple teams of 4-10 people. Promoted to the board in 2003, I was also the agency lead on Y&R’s Lean Six Sigma programme and managed training and recruitment for a department of 60.


Account Manager

Bates Dorland

Aug 1994 - Apr 2007
  • Major London advertising agency with 300 employees, part of Cordiant (bought by WPP in 2003) On leaving university I was selected to join as a Graduate Trainee, and subsequently cut my teeth working on campaigns for Halifax Building Society, Dixcel and Land Rover.


Account Director

Partners BDDH

Mar 1997 - Dec 2001
  • Progressive, independent advertising agency with 50 employees bought by Havas in 2000 Headhunted to run the flagship £15m Mercedes-Benz business. I also directed the Eden Vale Foods and Clerical Medical accounts, and ran the agency’s graduate recruitment programme.



International Marketing Programme


Jul 1999 - Jul 1999


    English Literature

    University College London

    Jul 1991 - Jul 1994