Engine MHP makes senior hires from H+K and Weber and unveils MHP+Mischief Studio content team

Engine MHP has hired a head of strategy and head of creative and announced the launch of a 20-person creative content team, called Studio, for the combined MHP+Mischief business.

Luke Walker (left) and Kate Gomes (right) will work with the Studio, led by Gemma Irvine (centre)
Luke Walker (left) and Kate Gomes (right) will work with the Studio, led by Gemma Irvine (centre)

Kate Gomes joins Engine MHP as head of strategy from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, where she was corporate strategy director. She will work with deputy chief executive Nick Barron on Engine MHP's Networked Age behavioural science research and consultancy programme, the agency said.

Formerly a policy manager at the Cabinet Office, Gomes previously held senior comms roles at energy company Hess and has worked with clients including Shell, GE and DS Smith.

The new head of creative is Luke Walker, formerly creative director at Weber Shandwick, where he worked on campaigns including the PRWeek UK Awards-winning Brutal Cut for Action Aid and Deep Fraud for HSBC.

The two will also work on Studio, the new creative content team for Engine MHP+Mischief, the entity formed from the merger of sister agencies MHP and Mischief in 2019.

Engine said Studio marks another step in the integration of the MHP and Mischief brands.

Led by head of Studio Gemma Irvine, it has already produced documentaries for AstraZeneca about the making of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed the visual identity and launch assets for Global Youth Mobilisation, and developed Wine Drinkers UK’s social media strategy for its tax campaign.

Alex Bigg, chief executive of Engine MHP+Mischief, said: "In a polarised and information-saturated world, communications strategy rooted in real audience insight has never been more important, while creative work needs to be outstanding in order to cut through.

"Kate and Luke are exceptional talents, who will help us fulfil our ambition to create an integrated agency built for The Networked Age. They will work closely with Gemma Irvine and her Studio team to develop more effective and powerful campaigns, with long-term impact."

Gomes said: "Engine MHP is an agency that’s got its finger on the pulse on issues that really count, from polarisation to vaccination. I’m thrilled to be joining to help deliver continued timely, impactful strategic work. Engine MHP is an agency that’s going places and I couldn’t be more delighted to be going places with them.”

Walker said: "The chance to lead the creative output of this agency is a huge opportunity, as the talent, ambition and momentum are all there. I firmly believe we can do something special. The aim is to create industry-defining work – work that persuades, changes behaviour and makes people act. I can't wait to get started."

Recent wins at Engine MHP+Mischief include open banking platform Plaid, online electrical retailer AO, and train operator Avanti West Coast.

Revenue at Engine MHP+Mischief rose five per cent in 2020 to £27.7m, with a headcount of 190 at the year end, according to the PRWeek UK Top 150 Consultancies report.

Last month Engine MHP announced two senior hires in its health team and in recent months has restructured its public affairs leadership and strengthened its capital markets team.

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