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Creative agency Manifest launches Australian ops with Melbourne office

Manifest Group is expanding to Australia, announcing Melbourne as the location of its fifth brand agency globally.

The Melbourne office joins locations in London, Manchester, New York and Stockholm, with the new Australian team to be led by co-founders Isabel Thomson-Officer (managing director) and Jessie Bowers (creative director).

Isabel Thomson-Officer and Jessie Bowers. Credit: Kim Jane Photography

Manifest’s group of agency offices around the globe and ‘one team’ model allow it to run integrated creative services 24 hours a day.

Founder and group CEO Alex Myers said a desire to give clients round-the-clock support led to the Australian expansion.

“When we launched Manifest in 2009 we had an ambition to become the world’s first global small agency, combining the reach and reliability of a global network with the agility and innovation expected of a boutique operation,” he said.

“Manifest Melbourne not only expands that reach to the Southern Hemisphere, but also gives our clients access to a 24-hour creative operation, with unified systems and processes to work seamlessly round-the-clock.”

Leading the Australian operations, MD Thomson-Officer is from Melbourne and has been working with Manifest New York.

She has over a decade of agency-side experience representing brands such as MoVida restaurant group, Gympass, and HelloFresh, as well as journalism expertise from her time with news.com.au and Nine Digital.

“Australia has a legacy of creative bravery and cultural innovation, which is why it feels like a natural home for Manifest,” she said.

“We’ll be headquartered in Melbourne, but it’s our intention to grow the team far and wide to source the best talent from all over the country. The nationwide recruitment process is already underway.”

New York native Bowers will also take on a key role as creative director, having worked in creative industries for almost two decades. He previously held roles including creative and art director for Fred Farid and Ogilvy.

He said Manifest will build an “unrivalled” global creative team, and that arriving in Australia presents the agency with an incredibly opportunity.

“Manifest is one of the most exciting creative agency brands in the world right now.

“We are building an unrivalled global creative team across the group that is capable of both developing the ‘big idea’ and delivering it – not just across the marketing mix, but increasingly across the globe.”

Manifest already has a list of clients and day-one briefs for global babycare giant, Tommee Tippee, sextech innovator, Hot Octopuss, sustainability subscription service, Ecologi and a leading Australian craft beer brand.

Hot Octopuss co-founder and COO, Julia Margo, said: “Manifest provides a unique blend of strategy, purpose and creative bravery that is helping us not just to launch successfully in Australia but become a brand with real cultural significance.

“Before meeting Manifest we never knew agencies like this existed, but now we work with them in the USA, UK and Australia as a genuine extension of our team and a vital catalyst for our business. Just as they have everywhere else, they’re going to smash it in Melbourne.”

The agency already has a media relations foothold in Sydney, and plans to recruit a hybrid team of specialist talent across the country.

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