EXCLUSIVE: Bellamy Hayden set to move into media buying

bellamy-haydenAward-winning media strategy shop Bellamy Hayden is planning to launch a media buying unit on behalf of parent company Photon, Mumbrella can reveal.

If it goes ahead, the move would mark a dramatic change of direction for the Photon-owned agency, which was founded by Simon Bellamy and Phil Hayden more than eight years ago. Photon took 100% ownership in 2007. Bellamy Hayden has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Bangkok.  

The move would be a significant one because communication planners often claim that media neutrality is a central plank of them being able to give clients unbiased advice. Bellamy Hayden was the first media strategy house to become successful in Australia, although it was later outgrown by Naked, which is now a sister company within the Photon Group.  

However, the move makes sense for Photon. The group, which was founded in 2000 and is headed by chairman Tim Hughes and CEO Matt Bailey, is one of Australia’s largest communications companies.

But although it has an excellent portfolio with advertising agencies including BMF and BWM, media strategy from Bellamy Hayden and Naked along with PR agencies too, it has up to now lacked media buying capability.

Bellamy Hayden MD Simon Rutherford is understood to be leading the project although it is unclear whether it will be a 100% Bellamy Hayden effort or sit within the wider Photon group.

If it does happen, it would see new competition in a market dominated by the Mitchell Communications Group and WPP’s Group M agencies.

Photon’s Bailey refered calls back to the agency, saying: ‘You’ll have to talk to the guys. I’m not sure where we are with it, but nothing’s happening at this stage.”

Bellamy told Mumbrella that he could not confirm or deny anything, adding: “We look at opportunities all the time.”

A launch of a new media buying house would also tie in with Photon’s recent strategy, which appears to have shifted from acquisition to launches. Late last year it launched social marketing operation The Population.


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