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Women in Media - Gemma Hunter - MediaCom



Welcome to MediaScope's profile series where we regularly ask 'Women in Media' about their career, experiences in our industry and their views on the current state of the market. 

This time we feature Gemma Hunter, Head of MediaCom Beyond Advertising based in Melbourne... 

Thanks to Gemma for getting involved.

  • Name: Gemma Hunter
  • Company: MediaCom
  • Role: Head of MediaCom Beyond Advertising / Executive Creative Director

 Women in Media - Gemma Hunter - MediaComTell us about your industry background? 

I’ve been in the biz around 20 years. I started in radio in the UK then joined MTV European to help create the new International Marketing Partnerships team. I rose to vice president at MTV and was there for 8 years. I was then head hunted by TBWA creative agency in London, which I joined and then ran the brand entertainment division for 4 years. I moved to Oz for love (my hubby is from Melbourne), 5 years ago and joined MediaCom to set up MBA.

What is your role and what do you do?

I run MBA and I’m also an ECD, so my job is pretty varied. MBA is a team of 30 content strategists, analysts, creative, producers, social and SEO experts. I set the vision, philosophy and general approach and I oversee all creative work, which I often write and direct myself. I also work closely with our global MBA HQ located in London.

What are your family circumstances and how do you manage your work/life balance?

I’m married, my husband is an event producer. We met through the job, up a mountain in Scotland shooting extreme mountain bikers in knee high mud and freezing degrees, so we get each other’s world totally. He understands when I disappear into the edit suite or I’m on a shoot in the outback and that the world slightly ceases to exist for me outside of the film I’m making. 

Outside of work, pilates keeps my head and body straight and my nephews and nieces make sure my feet stay firmly on the ground, they have made it clear that ‘Art Sundays’ with them are far more important than any brand. Although my eight year old nephew recently told me that the Audi TVC I made was “pretty cool”, that felt great!

Please outline your views on the general media market – what is the state of the media and any trends to watch out for? 

Crikey, how long of you got! I’ll give you 4 things I think about:

  • 1. We learn as much from grads these days as they learn from us, they are the future of our business so we need to listen to them.
  • 2. Digital is not a channel and as soon as the whole industry gets that the better.
  • 3. TV needs to evolve or die, the future is Netflix and the likes.
  • 4. I’m still waiting to talk to someone who actually understands what native means and how to do it well.

What advice would you offer to your younger self as you started your career in our industry? 

The same advice that my boss at MTV game me on a day that changed my career forever. ‘Telling someone to be themselves is bollocks, you can’t be anything other than yourself, it’s being your best self you should strive for and to do that you need to always listen to what your gut is telling you.’

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

I’ve gone up against ‘the boys club’, not here at MediaCom I may add. My reaction was, ‘If you lot want to act like 8 year old boys, I’m going to act like your mum and rally you where I need you to be.’

What can our industry do right now to better recognise & support women in media?

Honestly, I’d really like it if we stopped doing the whole ‘oh my god we are women, we need our own club, we are so different so special, thing.’ It’s kind of reverse sexism as far as I’m concerned. 

I think as an industry we should have more mentoring across businesses, but it doesn’t have to be women to women. I do think we could be more flexible with mums returning to work. In my team, I wholly support flexible working around the kids, especially with freelancers.

What media do you consume?

Vogue and Vogue Living, Netflix, mamamia, The Guardian, National geographic and Creative Review.

Thank you!

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Women in Media - She SaysSheSays - is a global networking organisation to support women in advertising, media, marketing and creative. It's entirely free and everyone involved is a volunteer. Come and join us at our next event. Find out more here - & join the SheSays Facebook page. 

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