Getup co-founder returns to Sydney to launch local agency office

Jeremy Heimans, co-founder of the GetUp movement, is to open a Sydney branch of his social change agency, Purpose.

Visiting Sydney ahead of the office’s launch to speak at the Sydney Writers Festival this week, Heimans told Mumbrella the motivations behind his agency go beyond simple marketing messages, saying: “It’s not about selling people shampoo for the sake of selling shampoo.”

“We’re thoughtful of the brands we work with, we don’t want to do marketing where the underlying issues aren’t meaningful.”

New York-based Heimans helped found GetUp in 2005 and his agency, Purpose, in 2009. The company currently has six offices around the world and counts Airbnb, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nike, Oxfam, Google and the Fred Hollows Foundation among clients.

The Fred Hollows Foundation connection is one of the reasons for Heimans establishing a Sydney office, he said: “One of the reasons for setting up the office here is our work with the Fred Hollows Foundation which we’ve worked with for several years now on eye health and the initiative called See Now.”

“We see a pretty big opportunity, we setup GetUp back in the day. Because most of the work is global, having an Australian office is an advantage.”

The Sydney office will be managed by Purpose’s former European manager, Simon Goff with the company looking at working with Australian and East Asian companies and not for profits.

“The speciality is engaging people and getting people to take issue as well as shifting attitudes to issues,” said Heimans.

“We’ve worked with companies like Unilever who are seriously about sustainability and rethinking a big CPG brand in a world of climate change and the circular economy.”


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