Australian radio and advertising icon Peter Harvie passes away

Peter Harvie, co-founder of Clemenger Harvie, now CHEP Network, and long-time chairman at Austereo has passed away.

Harvie founded the agency alongside Peter Clemenger, son of John Clemenger in 1974. The agency remains part of Clemenger Group.

Peter Harvie has passed away

He departed Clemenger Harvie in 1993, and was chairman of Austereo between 1997 and 2011, when the group was acquired by Southern Cross Media. He returned to the agency, then CHE (Clemenger Harvie Edge) in 2011.

The agency relaunched as CHE Proximity in 2012, then earlier this year to CHEP Network. Harvie was until recent chairman of the agency.

Harvie was also a Commercial Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and a member of the Southern Cross Austereo board until 2017.

Several radio and advertising industry figures have posted tributes to Harvie today.

COO at CHEP Network, Andrew Drougas wrote: “Vale Peter Mervyn Harvie. Our founder and chairman – The ‘H’ in CHEP – was an icon of Australian advertising and a radio industry Hall of Famer. He never owned or used a computer, managed his time with a pen and paper diary and at the end of this clip when we put his things in the boot of his car, still had a Melways. But stayed relevant and inspiring to the very end. A copywriter by trade who started our agency with Peter Clemenger in 1976, he was sharp as a whip, mad as a cut snake and above all an extremely decent and honourable human being. RIP Harvs, we’ll miss you.”

CEO of Howatson & Company, and former CHEP Network CEO wrote: “Harve was defined by his humanity. He had a very clear view of right and wrong, how to treat people, and how not to. He was a comfort in times of turmoil, and kept our feet on the ground in times of celebration. He didn’t need the latest marketing fad, because his currency wasn’t hype but truly understanding people. He showed us time and time again, understanding and empathy are the greatest tools of leadership.

“Target practice” he would say when we missed out on something. A phrase I use constantly today. But perhaps the most valuable advice I learned from Harve was ‘to be like bamboo’. That is, bend with the breeze and stand up again once it has blown over. There were many times my emotions would overwhelm me, and he would simple say this phrase – somehow conveying both an understanding for the feeling of the situation, and his pragmatism of preparing for what’s next. He always had a long game in mind.

Harve was my Chair, my mentor and most especially my friend. There was 50 years between us (almost exactly), but it never felt that way. His name will live on in CHEP as its founder, and his love for advertising in us all. We miss you already Harve, what an innings you have played x”

Grant Blackley, SCA CEO wrote: “We offer our sincere condolences to the Harvie family and our thoughts and prayers are with all at this sad time.

“I can say without equivocation, Peter was an absolute legend in the media industry. He was a tireless advocate for the media sector and importantly SCA over many years. Peter’s radio career spanned almost 25 years, starting with leading Triple M, to becoming Executive Chairman of Austereo Group and leading the merger between Austereo and Southern Cross Broadcasting to become SCA. He was a very worthy inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame.

“He was never shy but always respectful and led every discussion in a purposeful and impassioned manner. He built and managed so many businesses and initiatives it is hard to name them all. He was a genuine lover of creativity and encouraged and supported content teams in the pursuit of building great shows and exceptional talent. His leadership style was unique and he has left an enormously positive and profound legacy for so many in our industry.

“We will miss Peter but know he led a life full of purpose, passion and great fulfilment.”


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