Co-founder and group CCO Justin Drape to depart The Monkeys

Justin Drape, co-founder of The Monkeys and group chief creative officer, is leaving the agency.

Drape co-founded the agency with chief creative officer Scott Nowell and group CEO Mark Green in 2006, which up until 2011 was known as the Three Drunk Monkeys.

Justin Drape is leaving The Monkeys

Drape will continue working through the transition leading up to his departure.

Drape has been instrumental in growing the agency’s creative team and acquiring multiple accolades at D&AD, Cannes, Clio, the Webbys, the AWARD Awards, AACTA Awards, the Mumbrella Awards, the Logies and EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

In a statement, Drape thanked all of the talent which has contributed to the agency over the years.

“What has always made The Monkeys special, is the talented people who committed to shaping the agency’s culture, brand and story,” he said.

“The talented people who continually turn up and challenge the status quo with their creativity, intelligence and relentless belief in making provocative ideas happen. I want to thank all of them.”

Nowell, Drape and Green

Drape’s departure comes almost four years after the agency was acquired by Accenture Interactive for a reported $63 million.

In 2019, Drape, Nowell and Green each took additional roles within Accenture, signifying the next phase of the agency’s life. Green was made lead for Accenture Interactive AUNZ, stepping into responsibilities vacated by former managing director Michael Buckley months earlier. Drape and Nowell, meanwhile, added the titles of co-chief creative officers for Accenture Interactive, Australia New Zealand.

Green said he was glad to reach this point of the business with the three founders remaining close friends.

“We’ve been told more than once that to grow a business like ours you are going to experience great highs and lows and to get out the other side as friends is some kind of miracle. Yet here we are. We have been through so much together both from a business perspective and a personal perspective,” he said.

Nowell added: “We’ve been through so much together it’s hard to know where to start. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and even more so how we’ve done it. Anyone who’s worked with Justin will tell you he’s a force of nature and I’m excited to see what his next chapter brings.”

The Monkeys’ client list includes Asahi Premium Beverages,  IAG, DrinkWise, Australia Post, UBank, Berlei, Meat and Livestock Australia and Telstra. Last year, the agency won the creative accounts for Memories, Audi, Rebel Sport, Open Colleges, the Australian Grand Prix, Tourism Western Australia and Supercheap Auto.

In recent years, the agency has gained attention for its Berlei ‘Stop your boobs playing their own game’ campaign – which depicted stress-ball shaped like breasts bouncing around to send a message about breast tissue damage.

It has also been responsible for NRMA’s two most prominent campaigns. The first launched the ‘Help is who we are’ brand platform with a film featuring everyday Australians helping others when they are injured or in need. The second followed a young boy’s mission to save a koala from a power line.

Drape’s departure follows soon after the agency launched its latest summer lamb campaign for Meat and Livestock Australia, which has amassed widespread attention in local media and overseas. Taking a tongue-in-cheek look at Australia’s border closures during 2020, the campaign depicts Australians tearing down sky-high border walls to reunite with a lamb barbecue.


Today, the MLA campaign was extended to out-of-home, with murals of Australia’s state Premiers and Prime Minister sharing a lamb chop.

The Monkeys has twice been named Mumbrella’s APAC creative agency of the year and creative agency of the year, and has also been awarded full service agency of the year and independent agency of the year.

Drape’s next steps “will be revealed in due course”.


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