BMF MD Martin Rippon leaves, agency splits into three

After 11 years of service, the MD of one of Australia’s leading ad agencies is leaving, Mumbrella can reveal.

Martin Rippon, a former Levi’s, Whitbread and Nestle marketer who joined BMF in 2000, is moving to the UK at the end of February next year.

BMF boss Jeremy Nicholas said: “I wish Martin well. He has made an enormous contribution to the business.”

Also departing BMF is head of planning Gareth Cooper, Mumbrella understands.

In a move Nicholas said was unrelated to Rippon’s departure, BMF – which has around 240 staff – announced that it is splitting its client portfolio into three teams – two in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

Each team will have a creative, account management, planning, production and digital/social capability, and will be supported by a digital development unit.

“We’ve been a 200+ agency for a while now. We wanted to be nimbler and get senior people closer to the work – to make sure we are at the top of our game,” said Nicholas.

“An agency works optimally with 50-100 people. Springer & Jacoby divides itself into teams of 80. Tech firms adopt a similar structure. The Roman army was made up of centurions in units of around 100,” he added.

Nicholas wouldn’t say how BMF’s clients – which include Meat & Livestock Australia, Lion Nathan and CommBank, which is up for review – would be divided between the teams.

“It’ll be an eclectic mix of clients across the three teams – we’re not going for the BBH approach, which saw the agency divided into specialisations,”  he said.

One of the Sydney teams will be run by BMF’s ECD Dylan Taylor as managing partner. He has been joined by CHI & Partners’ head of account management Steve McCardle, and the search is on for an ECD to join the agency.

The other Sydney team will be helmed by head of account management Chris Kay, who has also been promoted to managing partner. Creative director Shane Bradnick has been promoted to ECD of that team.

The Melbourne team will be led by creative director David Klein, who has been promoted to ECD, while Alita McMenamin has moved up to client director.


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