CEO Chris Mort to depart The Media Store and be replaced by senior Toyota exec Craig Jepsen

Mort: departing Toyota's media agency after four years.

Mort: departing Toyota’s media agency after four years.

The Media Store is shaking up its management structure with CEO Chris Mort set to depart to be replaced by senior Toyota media executive Craig Jepsen, Mumbrella can reveal.

The move comes as the independent media agency prepares to defend Toyota, its biggest client, against an expected media review in the next 18-months.

Owner Warren Hill is also preparing to take a more active role in the business leading a four person agency management team that comprises of himself, Jepsen, chief business director Marg Cooney and strategy & insights manager Jacquie Alley.

The decision to poach Jepsen, who has been client side with Toyota in the role of media manager for the past nine years, is likely to be seen as an attempt to provide continuity and head off a slew of Melbourne agencies expected to line up for the account when Toyota relocates there in late 2017. Among the likely contenders, should the account pitch, are Dentsu Mitchell, Starcom and UM.

ToyotaToyota has already begun launching reviews of its various suppliers in the marketing space and is currently pitching its events, product launches and roadshows.

Mort, who has been with the agency for four years, told Mumbrella he would remain until next March ensuring a smooth transition, but declined to be drawn on the likelihood of a pitch.

“One of the major priorities for the agency in 2016 is to ensure our position remains on the TMCA (Toyota Motor Corporation Australia) roster and this new structure and team will give us a great opportunity to do just that,” said Mort.

Last year saw the independent head off a major threat to the agency’s cast-iron grip on the Toyota account by defending the dealership element of sub-brand Lexus’ account, holding off network agencies UM, Mediavest and Publicis Media.

But while the media agency has sought to broaden its client base and win new business from other tier one clients it has struggled to land the big accounts, picking up a number of smaller clients including Pet Barn, GHD, Sealy Posturpedic and Kennards Self Storage.

“When Warren approached my to take up the role of CEO we agreed that it would be a three year stint. It is now approaching 4 years,” said Mort.

“During this time the effort has centred on sharpening the company up through its people, product, tools and presentation – including premises.

“Now is the right time to move on and I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with the media over these four years and be a part of the dramatic pace of change sweeping through the industry.”   

The Media Store founder Hill thanked Mort for his contribution to the agency.

“The changes Chris has instigated have helped The Media Store to be a stronger agency and I’m very grateful for what he has done,” said Hill.

“It is now time to continue this journey under a different structure as we face the challenges ahead and I have no doubt that Craig and the new management team together with the existing strong management team will continue to drive the agency’s unwavering commitment to Toyota, Lexus and our other clients for many years to come.”

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.