‘Be hard on the work, kind to the people’: Telstra CMO Brent Smart issues call out to industry

Telstra chief marketing officer Brent Smart has called on Australian marketing and agency leaders to create positive workplace cultures that will help elevate the local industry to the rest of the world.

 Appearing on the latest episode of Mumbrella’s one-on-one podcast series, Smart issued a callout to the Australian media and marketing industry centred around the slogan: “Be hard on the work and kind to the people”.

“I think if, if more marketing leaders could create cultures like that, if more agency leaders could create cultures like that, then I think we’ll elevate the level of work from this part of the world. I think that’s a good thing for everyone,” Smart said.

“That’ll be good for the brands that the work is great for. Those brands will be more effective and have more success. It’ll be great for the agencies because they’ll be creating great work and they’ll have great cultures and and that means we’ll keep more talent in the business, which I think is critical.”

Smart said the talent “leaking” out of the industry is concerning, particularly in agencies.

In recent months, there has been a large number of movements and redundancies in companies such as Dentsu, M&C Saatchi Australia and CHEP.

Meanwhile, just last week, Initiative senior leaders – Melissa Fein, Sam Geer and Chris Colter – made the shock move to Accenture Song.

“I think this, this is a really complicated business. It’s a really challenging business, but it can also be a really simple business,” he said.

“And I think when you focus on the work and you try and make the worst work the best it can be, then good things tend to happen.”

Smart will appear at next week’s Mumbrella360 conference at the Doltone House in Sydney. For more details and tickets, click here.

Listen to the full episode here.


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