Credit Where it’s Due: Peter Vogel

creditLogoFNl-234x1021When he took on running MEC Australia Peter Vogel took on a media agency that was in a tough spot and transformed it into one of the most formidable in the market. As he moves on to take head up MEC across APAC we give Credit Where it’s Due to his efforts.      

In the dog eat dog world of media agencies it’s hard to find anyone who will say a bad word about Peter Vogel.

Even among his agency boss rivals (who are normally only too willing to venture an opinion) there is begrudging respect for Vogel and where he has taken the MEC agency.

In many ways you can’t help by think that they, along with much of the industry, genuinely like the agency boss… after all how many media agency CEOs do you know who would do the Harlem Shake with their team while on camera? Certainly no others were willing to step up to his 2013 challenge... (Note: Vogel is the guy at the front with the cane)

A promotion for Vogel has been rumoured for a while, although many had tipped him as a potential successor to GroupM chair John Steedman who stepped down last month.

That said we shouldn’t be surprised that Vogel has chosen to stay with MEC a company he been with for 15 years since it bought the media agency he co-founded, Nota Bene in South Africa.

For those unfamilar with Nota Bene it was the “hot independent” of its time in South Africa, and today is the fourth largest media agency in that country.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 12.01.23 PMVogel became chief strategy officer of MEC in Asia Pacific before being brought in to help right the ship at MEC Australia.

Under previous management the agency was struggling, losing clients and seeing momentum shift away from them towards competitors.

Transformation didn’t happen overnight. But it was Vogel’s ability to hold the agency together as clients like Red Bull moved their account out, and attract talent to help win new business.

Of course no man is an island and senior executives such as Peter Bucklow in Adelaide, were instrumental in helping MEC retain key clients and then start to grow its scope of work on some of its biggest accounts such as Mitsubishi and South Australian government.

But the resurgence of MEC was really marked by the agency sweeping the 2013 MFA Awards, picking up four separate awards, opening a Brisbane office to service new client Dominos, and a number of other account wins. Chief among them was the $60m Nestle media account, as well as the successful launch of Netflix in Australia (rumoured to be a $20-$30m media account) which has given the agency a new momentum.

Staff at MEC talk a lot about the culture within the agency, and Vogel’s ability to draw good people in.

Among the key hires has been strategy director and incoming CEO James Hier and Tim Flattery, an experienced TV executive who together with Hier (and the AANA’s Sunita Gloster) put together the clever Marketing Dividends TV show in which they interview senior chief marketers on Sky News Business.

The initiative is winning awards, as a piece content marketing it is clever and it is fair to say there would be a number of media agencies out there wishing they had thought of the idea.

Vogel says he will still be involved with the Australian market but now take responsibility for MEC on the APAC level. He will also be on the global board of the WPP company.

It will be interesting to see what he does with this latest challenge.

Credit Where it’s Due is all about generating positivity about our fantastic industry. While we welcome positive and constructive comments, anonymous or otherwise, this feature a snark-free zone so please bear that in mind when commenting.


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