My Media Week: Dominic Gesua

This week, Dominic Gesua, managing director at blowUP Media, reveals that walking his dog to work through Primrose Hill is the key to clear thinking, as he spends most of his day on site or in meetings.

Dominic Gesua: managing director at blowUP Media
Dominic Gesua: managing director at blowUP Media


As with every morning, I start the day with a walk to work with the dog through Primrose Hill and Regents Park, to blowUP Towers. It's a great time to think and plan the day ahead, and usually the only time I'm alone throughout the day. My route is relatively ad free – ironic given that I've spent the past 20 years working in media.

But this morning, I head past the office and onto Oxford Street to the official launch of John Lewis's Olympic banner wrap. The blowUP media team have worked with Posterscope and Manning Gottlieb OMD for months setting up this project, and the results are immediately visible as far back as Regent Street.

The next half an hour is spent with Simon Fowler, the MD of John Lewis Oxford Street, and Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville, as we do a count down to drop the last banner into place and complete the patriotic store wrap.

The banner looks amazing and it's great to see the reaction on the street as a crowd gathers to admire the view. The client is delighted and photos of the wrap make it onto Twitter within minutes. Another example of how good outdoor naturally lends itself to mobile and social media, as onlookers quickly share what they like, extending the reach of the campaign to online channels.

I skip lunch and go straight into the sales meeting run by Aimee McKay, our new sales director, who joined us in March. Aimee quickly fitted into the company culture and it feels like she's been with us for ages – definitely a good sign.


Tuesday starts with a lengthy discussion with a landlord over a controversial new copy campaign we are about to run for an advertiser. We negotiate the parameters of what is permissible and come to a final agreement – so watch this space. The landlord and development side of the business takes up the majority of my time these days. It’s a totally different set of disciplines from my sales background, but always interesting.

This is followed by a three-hour conference call with our German office, which is a lot less painful than it sounds. Despite the usual stereotypes, our German colleagues are much funnier than they get credit for, they do a nice line in self-depreciating humour, although they do call us 'Island Monkeys', but it's affectionate.

The rest of the afternoon is spent catching up with agencies and generally spending time in the office after being away on holiday the previous week.


I have breakfast with Dave Shepherd from Sport Revolution, an old – I mean experienced – friend. It's great to catch up.

This is followed by a meeting with a planning lobbyist consultant. Planning permissions for temporary and permanent structures are becoming increasingly complex, not just on a giant poster level, but also for digital screen installations. We tend to work with consultants to help us navigate and negotiate the planning minefield, so this is an important and productive meeting.

At lunch I meet with a major landlord to talk about their portfolio and discuss the possibilities for developing new incremental revenue streams across their estate.

In the afternoon I meet with Posterscope's sales team to discuss giant posters, the future of outdoor, and the development of digital formats. It's a productive and collaborative meeting with some interesting points – if you don't listen to your clients, you'll never get things right in this business.

Tonight I'm off to see 'A Play About Words' at Sadlers Wells. I pass our Apple installation in Kings Cross and the Euston Underpass digital screen, which I've always liked.


A 6.30am start, to watch the Torch Relay in Camden. Then I pop to Stratford to see the three towers we wrapped for Gillette. This has been a great project with Starcom MediaVest and the creative from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, featuring the athletes appearing to smash through the side of the buildings, looks incredible on such a scale.

I pop to Westfield Stratford to check out our other John Lewis store wrap and I start to feel very excited about the Games. The sponsors have certainly gone to town in the event zone.

In the evening I play softball in the London Advertising Softball League. BlowUP are currently fourth in the top division. We lose a tight game, but it was sociable, competitive and fun just like the media world.


This morning I met with a research company. Traditionally, we have done a lot of research and we are about to instigate a fresh round to understand what large formats bring to outdoor in terms of visibility, presence and ability, to hold attention and we will use this to inform Postar's terms of reference.

Friday's booking day and we have a stormer. It puts a smile on everyone's face in the office and is a great way to finish off the week. To mark the start of the Olympics and after such a great week, we head off early to go to the pub.

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