Ogilvy Australia resurrects national creative chief role as Steve Back returns home

Steve Back

Ogilvy Australia has hired a chief creative officer to oversee the agency’s creative product across both Sydney and Melbourne offices.

The appointment comes just over a year after Ogilvy scrapped a plan to install a national creative chief, a role former boss Tom Moult called ‘the most expansive in Australian advertising’.

He then said that the job, which covers one of Australia’s largest creative offerings, “would just be too hard”.

Moult, who left Ogilvy in August, said then: “It’s not the sort of role you could parachute someone in to do both jobs. It’s a role you could grow into, but not be hired into.”

Facing that task will be Steve Back, who will return home from Singapore – where he was creative head of Ogilvy – to be national chief creative officer, based in Melbourne.

Prior to his stint in Singapore, Back was ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney. He has also had spells at Colenso BBDO in New Zealand and DDB Australia.

Ogilvy Australia CEO Andrew Baxter said: “Steve is one of the region’s most renowned creatives and we are incredibly excited to have him join the Ogilvy Australia team. His broad experience on big brands and proven success with campaigns that really work for clients will be a great asset to our already strong creative team.”

Back added: “I’m really excited to be joining Andrew and the team in Australia. They’ve really hit their stride in the last 12 months with campaigns like Share a Coke. I’m looking forward to contributing to the agency’s continued success.”

He starts in his new role in February.


  1. Amazing News!
    28 Nov 12
    6:00 pm

  2. Steve Back is one of the greats.

    It will be interesting to see him go into a predominately retail shop in this market though. The race between Droga5 and Big Red for the creative retail giants of Australia may have a new kid on the block!

    Looking forward to watching this space! Welcome back Back!

  3. Show me the money
    28 Nov 12
    6:28 pm

  4. Must be on the equivalent of the GDP of a small African nation

  5. Great news
    29 Nov 12
    9:27 am

  6. Welcome home Backy. Awesome news congrats.
    Melbourne watch shops will be very excited.

  7. Pete
    29 Nov 12
    8:51 pm

  8. He left Saatchi & Saatchi in a good place. Watch out guys.

  9. Hey Pete
    30 Nov 12
    7:42 am

  10. I think that isa bit unfair.
    The place obviously never recovered from Nobby leaving to set p Droga5.
    But these things have to happen, to push the future forward, bringing in a whole new world of advertising.
    I think Steve did a very good job at Saatchi’s.
    And if you look at the trajectory of Droga5, it has been growing massively, picking up very large bits of retail business.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets up to the size of M&C in the next year or two – what a machine it could be!

  11. Anne Miles
    30 Nov 12
    11:34 am

  12. I love that a big name like Steve Back is heading to stylish Melbourne. This is good for the town.