Bohemia lifts the lid on its creative offering but baulks at ‘full service’ label

Brett Dawson


Independent media agency Bohemia has spoken openly about its recent appointment to the account and lifted the lid on its creative offering, arguing media agencies need a seat at the table on creative work.

Bohemia co-founder Brett Dawson told Mumbrella the campaign launched yesterday was the biggest creative project the independent agency had run, but argued there was nothing special about the agency running or even leading creative services.

“The word ‘full service’ is a step backwards,” Dawson told Mumbrella. “I’d like us to be positioned as a modern media agency – we are only three and half years old but have been doing ‘full service’ – for want of a better term – since we started.”

For the campaign Bohemia teamed up with The Glue Society and Revolver to create what News Corp claims is the “biggest ever consumer marketing campaign” for Australia’s most read news website.

“This is the most high profile production piece we have done,” said Dawson. “It’s not cheap.

“I just think a modern day media agency has every right to have a seat at the table for content creation and in some instances we are driving the agenda, as we are with, in other instances we are contributing into a creative agency.”

Dawson said as well as Bohemia is leading creative on Open Colleges, Spotify and even some parts of the Lion account.

“Clients are wide open to it,” he said. “They haven’t employed Bohemia to do ‘spots and dots’, they have employed us to be a strategic partner and help drive their marketing.”

“How you say something is as important as what you say, and we absolutely have a seat at the table in both. And in some instances we are driving it.”

Dawson questioned the industry’s decision to separate media and creative, a move that started happening seriously around 20 years ago, but also took aim at media agency rivals who he claims weren’t proud of their “media heritage”

“To be honest, creative agencies still outsource to directors, to production companies etc. that’s their model. We just do the same thing,” he said.

“Unlike some of our competitors I’m proud to do that from a media heritage – from a media DNA. Because we are anchored in real world data and real world results. I think that makes for a better creative product.”

His comments are likely to be seen as a criticism of UM, whose CEO Mat Baxter earlier this year declared it was “not a media agency”, arguing that in a fragmented media landscape the traditional advertising silos were unhelpful.

Dawson said the decision by to appoint Bohemia came about three months ago, at the same time as News Corp moved its newspaper media account from UM to Mediacom. 

The Bohemia boss noted that there were cost benefits for clients in having a media agency lead creative.

“Absolutely (there is a cost saving) – you have one set of account management, one set of strategy etc,” he said.

“These are all Bohemia retained clients and we work with them for a one stop shop. For a solution. And then we work with whoever in the same way a creative agency does.”

Dawson said they were also open to working with a variety of creative and production partners.

“We don’t just collaborate with the Glue Society,” he said. “We collaborate with lots of different partners, depending on the job people like Active Nation, Yolo, Revolver etc.”

Nic Christensen 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.