Former Authentic Entertainment CEO John Wardley leaves amid launch of new division



Former Authentic Entertainment chief executive John Wardley has left the business following the formal launch of the firm’s new full service creative division, Authentic Creative Lab.

While Wardley helped set up the new operation, it will be led by head of integration Vanessa Richards.

Wardley, who took from Simon Joyce as CEO in mid 2013, left Authentic in September according to his LinkedIn profile, and has taken a chief marketing role with Netherlands-based Fontem Ventures.

His future was placed in doubt back in May when Authentic Entertainment founder Tony McGinn moved back into the CEO role and handed responsibility for establishing Authentic Creative Lab to Wardley.

McGinn said back then it was uncertain whether Wardley would stay.

Authentic, which rebranded after merging Igloo and MCM in June 2014, is the local partner for music video streaming service Vevo, makes radio shows including Take 40 and creates branded content and digital assets for brands.

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa Richards

The company said the creation of the new division, which will have a presence in Sydney and Melbourne, will enable the delivery of more “innovative content marketing solutions” for clients.

It claimed the full service nature of the operation was a “first for the burgeoning content marketing industry”.

Richards will oversee a 16-strong department that will offer creative, video and audio production, design, experiential, activation and ideation specialists, marketing, PR, social media and strategic counsel.

The Lab has already started working with Authentic’s existing owned and managed brands including Vevo, Take 40 Australia, My Generation and The Drop.

“At Authentic, we are committed to developing forward-thinking opportunities for brands, partners and clients and the Authentic Creative Lab gives us greater agility in order to do so and provide best in market solutions,” Richards said in a statement.

“Our vision is to ensure the Lab produces some of Australia’s most innovative and engaging content that helps to amplify brand experiences and bring consumers closer to the brands they know and love.”

McGinn said: “I’m delighted to bring the Authentic Creative Lab to market. The content marketing landscape is changing at a rapid pace and our intention is to ensure we are at the forefront of these changes and trends and that we can both inspire our clients and deliver on their changing demands.

“The Lab provides us with a powerful, cohesive platform in which to further build our business and sustain the growth we have enjoyed in recent months through our brands and clients.”

Appointments in ACL include Tim Bowery as manager of ideation, while former Seven and NOVA campaign specialist Sarah Howie has been named senior activations manager.

Andrew Tanner has stepped into the role of group creative head after 20 years with the business and Beth van Koesveld has been appointed group audience insight manager.

Steve Jones


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.